I Saw A Child
I saw a child who couldn’t walk,
sit on a horse, laugh and talk.
Then ride it through a field of daisies
and yet he could not walk unaided.
I saw a child, no legs below,
sit on a horse, and make it go
through deep forests and woods of green
to places he had never seen
before he'd have to sit and stair
of visions from a lifeless chair
I saw a child who could only crawl
mount a horse and sit up tall.
Put it through degrees of paces
and laugh at the wonder in our faces.
I saw a child born into strife,
take up and hold the reins of life
and that same child was heart to say,
thank God for showing me the way…
A poem by a Cowboy "Shooter"
I knelt down in the dust to square up with her face,
one of my hands rested on a wheel and I saw on each leg was a brace.
She wasn’t more than eight or so, and figure though I’d try
why she had to have a wheel chair to use instead of legs, only God knew why.
Her head was resting on her chest and blond hair cascaded down,
although I couldn’t quite see her face, I judged it must have wore a frown.
I choked back a tear and I tried to speak, my hand moved to her arm,
that’s when her body gave a little jerk, her signal of alarm.
“I thought you saw me coming hon,” my voice said in a hush,
I must have scared her half to death, I’d been in such a rush.
But then her head started movin, a struggle I could tell.
But she keep on a work’n, a determined little gal.
And when her face came up and eyes met mine, my heart began to race,
cause from two deep blue magic eyes I saw a smile upon her face.
I said, “Hi hon, I’m Shooter and I’m a cowhand at this place,”
and I reached with a weathered hand and brushed some dirt off of her face.
Now I hope that you like horses and that you like to ride,
that’s when a teacher standing right near by whispered, “cowboy, I wish
that you hadn’t lied.
“You see this little gal in front of you that is locked up in this chair,
she’ll never get up on a horse, regardless of the care.”
Now my partner Buck was listening, and he said, “Shooter, do you think”
That’s when I looked at Annie, and she gave me a wink.
Well Bill the Greek was standing by with Bart’s reins resting in his hand,
Anne said, “Bill bring that horse on over here,” and she got him to stand.
Next to those shiny wheels this little girl used for limbs,
You see, Bart’s not just some old Ranch nag, we’re really proud of him.
And while I knelt there in the dust, not one foot away,
I watched a union form between that child and horse, on that special day.
Slowly Bart’s nose moved ‘cross her shoulder, and down along that fallen hair,
to explore those legs in braces that were in that cold, hard chair.
When his warm breath caressed her hand, I looked at her face,
and that’s when I saw her use those eyes to give him an embrace.
That’s right, she hugged that horse around the neck, and she did it with a stare,
and even Bart could feel the love she had as his nose brushed her hair.
That’s when I said, “Say teacher, now you know best, of course,
but I do believe this little gal could really sit this horse.”
“You see, the horses and the cowhands are really special here,
and I can see this little gal ain’t got one ounce of fear.”
With that the teacher nodded yes, and I looked back at that face,
and just like that old horse before, I too got those eyes embrace.
By golly one of my hands went under her knees,
and with one on her back, sure as you please,
I lifted her up and I held her tight,
there wasn’t much to her, but I know she could fight.
By now old Buck had mounted Black Bart,
he was back of the saddle, he knew his part.
And as Anne and Bill held the horse fast,
I hoisted her up to Buck’s steady grasp.
Legs and braces slid down saddle and tack,
with his big arms around her, Buck supported her back.
That’s when we saw her relax, we’d seen it before,
she wasn’t the first kid, nor the last, we know we’d see more.
You see, kids like her on a horse just seem to transform,
they’re not so restricted, they’re part of the norm.
That is why Indian Don, Texas John, Chips, Gordy, Ron and
Tom and all the rest,
they’re working with other kids like her, and doing their best.
I’m one proud old cowboy to be part of this crew,
cause they’re my friends, and the world is better for the work that they do.
By now old Bart started movin’ with Anne and Bill at his side,
and Buck, back of the saddle, she’d started her ride.
Well her face never stopped glowing the rest of the day,
and when she got on the bus to go on her way,
our eyes came together, there was no need to say more.
You see I got from those eyes one more hug like before.