Family History Part 05: Little Eb Makes His Escape Poem by Cowboy Ron Williams

Family History Part 05: Little Eb Makes His Escape

Rating: 4.3


When my great-grandfather,
Ebeneezer Williams was eleven
years old, he was herding a dozen
cattle from one mountain area
to another where there was better
feed, and he was surrounded by
a band of Indians.

I never found out what tribe they
were. Some sources said Apache,
but other of my relatives insist that
they were Utes.

In any case, they bound his hands
with rawhide rope and forced him
to march along with them as they
proceeded to drive their stolen
cattle far away from where they
had taken them.

Young 'Eb', as he was called,
did not understand anything
they said to him, as none
apparently spoke any English,
but he had nothing but bad feelings
about their intentions for him.

Escape seemed impossible, but
Eb decided that perhaps death
would be better than whatever
they had in store for him.

The trail they followed led near
a river, swollen and rushing from
a recent springtime rain. Eb waited
for the right time, and when a
cougar suddenly screamed from
the forest away from the river,
and all his captors looked in
that direction, he leaped into
the rushing river.

He did not expect to survive,
as his hands were still bound,
but as he was swept downstream,
in just a few seconds, the water
loosened the rawhide and he was
able to get his wrists free.

By the time he got his head
above water, the cattle and
his captors were no longer
visible.

His knee and his shoulder
had been banged against
some big rocks before his
hands got free, but he was
otherwise all right.

A couple of miles downstream,
he was able to crawl out of the
river and make his way back
to the homestead.

Their cattle were never recovered,
but the family was thrilled that
Eb was back home and safe.

Family History Part 05: Little Eb Makes His Escape
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
I don't pretend that this is a poem, but I figured that this was as good a way as any to pass on my family history to my grandchildren!
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Cowboy Ron Williams 26 August 2020

Thank goodness for that cougar!

17 0 Reply
Quoth Theraven 02 September 2020

Harrowing story., reminds me of John " Liver-Eating" Johnson aka John Jeremiah Garrison Johnston. The Crow know of his deeds.

12 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 02 September 2020

By the time he got his head above water, the cattle and his captors were no longer visible.......life is the name of struggle; time after time, moment after moments there come a lot of physical and mental wars in life; who defeats all difficulties, dilemma, critical situation and makes the moment favorable to live S/He is winner in live.....superb poem penned on realistic life;

12 0 Reply
Varsha M 18 October 2020

Yes that is really true. That is how miraculous escapes happen. I really enjoyed this story. Beautiful.

12 0 Reply
Belle Wassermeister 02 September 2020

Fantastic story, Cowboy! Congratulations on Poem of the Day! Wow! What an honor! Your account has only been active for what - - two months or so? I've been here over a year and it has never happened to me! You seem to have a natural talent.

11 0 Reply
Bri Edwards 05 May 2022

'Eb' probably sold the cattle to the railroad builders! Ha. I left a comment over a year ago also. bri : )

0 0 Reply
Bri Edwards 05 May 2022

I would edit these lines in two places: 'their (the) stolen cattle far away from where they had taken (stolen/rustled) them.'

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 09 February 2021

A beautifully crafted poem well conveyed.

10 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 09 February 2021

Sometimes when we are at the brink of death or impending death, it is where.at our best.

10 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 09 February 2021

A wonderful and interesting story of courage of a great grandfather. Very entertaining.

10 0 Reply
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