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Net-surfing With a Cowboy

Ron Wilson
© 2001

 
"Randy, get your rope," the rancher told his son.
The boy replied in protest, "But Dad, I'm not yet done.
I've been on the computer, the most interesting thing yet.
I've even been in cyberspace - this thing called Internet."
 
"No time for that," the rancher growled, with chew inside his mouth.
"That heifer's out - the neighbor called, and said she's headed south."
 
"But Dad" - the boy's protest was cut off with "That's enough.
Go get your horse. You're wasting time on all this high-tech stuff."
 
The man's lecture continued as they headed to the barn.
"Your Ma bought that computer 'cause she said it'd help the farm.
And she said it'd help your studies, and I suppose I thought it would,
But spending too much time on it makes you no earthly good."
 
The boy, though, saw it differently. He wanted to explain,
But then their mounts were saddled and they hurried down the lane.
He told himself he'd show his dad the computer was alright.
It wasn't long before that maverick heifer was in sight.
 
Young Randy twirled up a loop and roped that rangey calf.
The shocked look on his daddy's face made the young cowboy laugh.
The dad said, "My gosh, son. You roped that calf in nothing flat.
Where did you ever find the time to practice up like that?"
 
The boy said, "Our computer, Dad. It's made my roping good.
Y'see, it helps my homework, just like Ma said it would.
If there's a school project that requires a research line,
I just find it on the Internet - I'm done in half the time."
 
"That leaves more time for ropin', and that's not the only feature.
I'll computerize our herd records, with help from my ag teacher."
The boy was babbling on, but the old rancher told him "Wait -
You've made your point. Now help me get their heifer through the gate."
 
The boy said, "One more thing, Dad. Think I'll name my lariat.
'Cause it can catch so many things, I'll call it Internet."
 
Epilogue
 
The hour was late when that old rancher came in for the night.
The gleam from that computer was in fact the only light.
His son and Ma were sleepin', so he thought he'd take a rest.
He rolled his favorite chair up to that new computer desk.
 
He thought with pride of how his son had grown up from their roots,
But as for him, he wanted just a place to rest his boots.
He leaned back in his chair and put his feet up by the mouse.
That spot felt better to him than 'most any in the house.
 
He thought, "This dang computer's good for something after all.
It makes a place to rest my boots after a hard day's long haul."
And he grinned with some amusement, as he drained his coffee cup,
For he'd just given new meaning to the expression "boot it up."
 
This poem is used here with the permission of the poet, Ron Wilson
 
May 6, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / howell@kotn.org

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