Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Into the Wind

A bird went flying one spring day
A stiff march wind did blow
He flapped and flailed as birds will do
But forward couldn't go

So down he swooped into the grass
To rest a moment there
Then with a mighty thrust and thrash
He rose back to the air

But still the mighty head wind blew
And try as though he might
There wasn't nothin' he could do
To ambulate his flight

So to the ground again he sank
His drawing-board per say
And there he sat somewhat perplexed
He'd never failed this way

"God gave me wings that I might fly
And soar upon the breeze.
But that which once did lift me up
now drives me to my knees."

But as he stared down at the ground
An inspiration flashed
Up he rose on two good legs
And o'er that ground he dashed

Where there's a will there is a way
And like our little friend
We take on trials day by day
And fly into the wind

But if the wind becomes too strong
And to the ground you're knocked
Just keep on moving right along
If you can't fly just walk


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Get Out of the Way

DISCLAIMER: I am not a parent and I don't claim to know much about raising children. What I am about to say comes from a background in training animals and from my observation of other people's parenting methods and their subsequent results.

Animals, like children, seek approval. If you ask or encourage them to do something and then block them with your position, body language, voice, or attitude they will become confused, frustrated, discouraged, and/or resentful. When they try to do the right thing and you discourage them you destroy their confidence and leave them wondering if you are trustworthy. If this pattern continues they will begin not only to doubt you but also your requests, commands, and eventually anything associated with you and your kind.

However, if you support and encourage them in their attempt, you will build a relationship of trust and confidence that "directs them in the way that they should go." A common phrase among horse trainers is: "reward the slightest try; the smallest change." Don't ask for perfection - ask for a try - and when you get it build on it. Eventually you will reach a point where you can ask for more technical correctness and over time achieve perfection without ever asking for it.

But if you block that first try you set them up for failure - even if you don't mean to.

So get out of the way.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Adventures of HayRake Slim and Shorty

DISCLAIMER: No animals were harmed during the writing of this poem.

One Big Itch

"I swear this colt is one big itch!"
Said Shorty with a squall
"He's torn my saddle all to bits
By rubbin' 'gainst the wall!"

"I'll put an end to this!" He cried
With fiery, raging, ire
"I'll teach him to respect my tack.
I'll tie him to a hot-wire!"

Next day when they had made their ride
He'd not forgot his boast
And left that colt securely tied
To a solid, wooden post

So when around that horse did swing
To scratch his itchy hide
With a flash a pop a zap a zing
Poor Itch got hot-fence fried

He pulled back on the lead rope
And against the halter fought
He jerked and plunged and reared on high
Then on his back he flopped

Shorty watched but never made
One move to cut the line
"Just let him sort it out." He said
"In a minute he'll be fine."

Well sure enough he scrambled up
And shook away the dirt
He stood there breathin' kinda hard
But otherwise unhurt

Now Shorty kept that colt you know
He rode that horse for years
And when he tied him to a wall
He nevermore did fear

But if a stirrup ever brushed
On tree or gate or rock
Ol' Itchy'd jump just like a cat
Before he could get shocked

The End

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Adventures of HayRake Slim and Shorty

The Runaway

There's different types of horses
Of which LT was one
Some when frightened tend to buck
But LT liked to run

The bit you slid between his gums
No alteration made
Fatigue alone would slow his plunge
When he became afraid

Through fences, fields, and roads he'd run
His eyes glazed over blind
The terror close in hot pursuit
If only in his mind

But once he'd run a booger out
It ne'er phased him again
So on he worked day in; day out
For Shorty and HayRake Slim

One day Slim to Shorty said
"We've got some time to kill.
Let's teach that LT horse to drag
I kinda think he will."

Shorty doubtfully agreed
And to the barn they trod
They threw a saddle on their steed
Slim's will was iron-shod

He climbed aboard; shook down his rope
Then handed down one end
"Tie this to that feed trough, pard'
And let the fun begin!"

They started in an easy walk
But when the rope came tight
The jerking rattle, bump, and bang
Sent LT into flight

"Don't worry, Shorty!" HayRake cried
"He'll stop out at the gate!"
But not a pause did LT take
He just continued straight

"The cattle guard will stop him sure!"
But this was not the case
The jump old LT cleared it with
Would win a steeplechase

They crashed and clattered on beyond
Out into the road
Cars were blowin' on their horns
As for the ditch they dove

Now HayRake hadn't tied on hard
But dallies taken 'round
So in a storm he could let go
And drop his rope on down

But when he tried to turn a'loose
A half-hitch he bespied
Had tightened like a hangman's noose
And fast he now was tied

So in he settled for the race
He screw his hat way down
And as the wind rushed by his face
He saw the edge of town

It came up fast with all their speed
The townsfolk got a treat
When cowpoke, trough, and mighty steed
Careened right down Main Street

That feed trough crashed and banged along
The women screamed and ran
The men and boys all cheered aloud
When Slim waved - hat in hand

Sparks shot off the pavement
The lathered foam did fly
And HayRake with a shrug did think
"He'll either stop or die."

But finally at the edge of town
Down to a halt they slowed
Slim stepped off and let out cinch
So old LT could blow

LT stood there and quivered
And HayRake kinda sighed
A gleam of satisfaction
Shining in his eyes

A crowd began to gather
Ol' HayRake flashed a grin
"I thank you folks for all yer help." He said
"This sure was good for him!"

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Adventures of Hay Rake Slim and Shorty

Twas the night of the big dance
All the boys had a grin
But the brown cow nonetheless
Had to be milked again

See a cowboy takes to milkin'
Like a doctor takes to flu
But when the little crippled calf won't suck
There's nothin' else to do

They got the cow up in the chutes
B.W. held the pail
Hay Rake went to milkin'
While Shorty held her tail

Then they got Ol' Cripple up
And fed him thru' a tube
Then rushed to finish evenin' chores
Their spirits unsubdued

But when the dance was over
And home they laughing rode
An awful shock was waiting
On them to be bestowed

For in the rush and hurry
To put on dancin' boots
The cowboys had run off and left
Poor Brown Cow in the chutes

And there she stood her head hung low
Lookin' so forlorn
But when they rushed to let her out
She hooked 'em with her horns

See she'd stood there several hours or more
Like a cowvict in a jail
And when she finally got a'loose
She had a tale to tell

She ran them boys all down the pens
And made 'em climb the fence
But Shorty paid a higher price
A horn through sunday pants

So let this be a lesson
To cowboys everywhere
Don't be in such a hurry
And save your underwear

The End

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Word Pictures

In Psalm 86, David uses the phrase, "Incline your ear [to me], oh Lord."

Ever see a scared kid in a big group of people? They might need to tell their dad something but they won't come right out and say it. Instead, they grab his hand and beckon for him to bend down to their level so they can whisper their fears and insecurities into his understanding ear.

That's the picture here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Acacia Tree

In Exodus God instructs Moses to build almost everything in the tabernacle out of Acacia wood. When I read this I wondered what was so special about this particular tree. Why did God show such particular favoritism towards one type of wood?

So to Wikipedia I went. I found out that the Acacia tree has a host of interesting and useful properties, and is linked to many different myths and legends of ancient religion.

But the thing I found most interesting about the Acacia tree is that, when milled for paper, it produces a product with high yield and low bulk. This means that it can be used to make extremely thin paper that is most commonly used for the pages of Bibles.

So the tree that God chose for the construction of His dwelling place in the Old Testament is used today to convey His message of Salvation and Life to the World.

Coincidence...I don't think so.