The One-Legged Cowboy


The cowboys’ life was not glamorous. It was hard work everyday and into the evenings as well. The cowboy was paid one to four dollars a month to herd the unruly and skittish longhorn cattle, to rope the strays and brand them, and to be able to drive the herds many, many miles to the railroads in Kansas for shipment back East. The cowboy knew he could be crushed under a stampede or even be hit by lightning on the open plains. He was fortunate if he made it to a town once or twice a year. It didn’t take a degree from a college, but a lot of guts and doggedness to be a real cowboy. The cowboy was usually a young man with little ties to home and a strong desire to roam. He was extremely devoted to his partners on the range and would die fighting for them. He wore the same clothes every day and ate whatever the chuck wagon cook gave him. He carried a bedroll tied behind the saddle and slept on the ground regardless of the weather. He became as hard as nails but had the graciousness to all whom he met. He was a real hero of the Old West.

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