Henry Herbert Knibbs
Largo Poem by Henry Herbert Knibbs
Bought him of the Navajos—shadow of a pony,
Over near the Largo draw, runnin' up and down;
Twenty pesos turned the trick—broke me cold and stony;
Then I set to figure as I rambled into town.
'Fore I had the feel of him, twice he like to throwed me;
He did n't have to figure sums 'cause he was n't broke;
Then he took to runnin' and unknowin'-like, he showed me
Speed that was surprisin' in a twenty-dollar joke.
Wiry little Navajo, no bigger than a minute;
Did a heap of restin' up when he got the chance,
But...ever stop a pin-wheel just to locate what was in it,
Findin' unexpected you was settin' on your pants?
That was him—the Largo hoss; did n't take to schoolin';
Relayed out of Calient' into Santa Fé;
Fifty mile of kickin' sand and not a wink of foolin'
When he hit the desert trail windin' down that way.
Once they put a blooded hoss on the trail behind him;
Passed me like a Kansas blow; Largo did n't mind,
Kept a-runnin' strong and sweet. Reckoned that we'd find him
Like we did, in twenty mile, busted, broke, and blind.
Ever see a Injun race? Times I could 'a' sold him
For a dozen cattle—a most interestin' price;
Set to figurin' ag'in—bought the mare that foaled him:
Shucks! Her colts they could n't beat a herd of hobbled mice.
Took the brush and curry-comb—thought he'd understand it ...
Him a-loafin' lazy with his nose across the bars;
Reckon dudes comes natural; as hard as he could land it,
He druv home his opinion while I gathered up the stars.
That was him—the Largo hoss; never saw another
Desert hoss could beat him when he started out to float.
Pedigree? He had n't none; a pony was his mother,
And judgin' from his looks I guess his father was a goat.
That's him now a-standin' there, sleepy-like and dreamin';
Sell him? Thought you'd ask me that. Northern mail is late
Just three hours. No, not to-day, pardner. Without seemin'
Brash—from here to Santa Fé we'll wipe it off the slate.
Bought him of the Navajos—broke me cold and stony;
But I got a roll to-day—tell you what I'll do—
Ridin' south? Well, pardner, I'll just give you that there pony,
If we ain't in Santa Fé three hours ahead of you.
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