Little Joe, the wrangler, will never wrangle more; His days with the remuda they are done. 'Twas a year ago last April he joined the outfit here, A little Texas stray and all alone.
'Twas long late in the evening he rode up to the herd On a little old brown pony he called Chaw; With his brogan shoes and overalls a harder looking kid You never in your life had seen before.
His saddle 'twas a southern kack built many years ago, An O.K. spur on one foot idle hung, While his "hot roll" in a cotton sack was loosely tied behind And a canteen from the saddle horn he'd slung.
He said he'd had to leave his home, his daddy'd married twice And his new ma beat him every day or two; So he saddled up old Chaw one night and "lit a shuck" this way Thought he'd try and paddle his own canoe.
Said he'd try and do the best he could if we'd only give him work Though he didn't know "straight" up about a cow, So the boss he cut him out a mount and kinder put him on For he sorta liked the little stray somehow.
Taught him how to herd the horses and to learn to know them all To round 'em up by daylight; if he could To follow the chuck wagon and to always hitch the team And help the "cosinero" rustle wood.
We'd driven hard to red river and the weather had been fine; We were camped down on the south side of the bend When a norther commenced blowing and we doubled up our guards For it took all hands to hold the cattle then.
Little Joe the wrangler was called out with the rest And scarcely had the kid got to the herd When the cattle they stampeded; like a hail storm, long they flew And all of us were riding for the lead.
"Tween the streaks of lightning we could see a horse out far ahead 'Twas little Joe the wrangler in the lead; We was riding "old Blue Rocket" with his slicker 'bove his head Trying to check the leaders in their speed.
At last we got them milling and kind of quieted down And the extra guard back to the camp did go But one of them was missin' and we all knew at a glance 'Twas our little Texas stray poor wrangler Joe.
Next morning just at sunup we found where Rocket fell Down in a washout twenty feet below Beneath his horse mashed to a pulp his horse had rung the knell For our little Texas stray--poor wrangler Joe.