Calvin’ Time

I have an easy, peaceful feelin’ 

as I begin to write this rhyme 

about my favorite season — 

when it’s calvin’ time. 

We have two seasons on our ranch; 

we calve both spring and fall 

But, some folks don’t care what months 

they calve. 

They just calve throughout them all. 

For a lot of ranchers that I know, 

calvin’ time is somethin’ to endure. 

To them it’s just another cow fact — 

like heelflies and manure. 

To some folks the season brings memories 

of ridin’ horseback in drivin’ rain 

and workin’ out in mud, knee-deep, 

pullin’ on an O.B. chain. 

I must admit to havin’ had 

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my share of all of that, 

but I wouldn’t miss out on calvin’ 

for a brand new ten X hat. 

I just enjoy saddlin’ up 

and headin’ down to the calvin’ trap. 

It’s a trip I make most frequent, 

and I sure don’t need a map. 

The sight I see is moo’in’ matrons 

with udders tight and bellies round. 

I know the time is gettin’ short 

’til the young’uns hit the ground. 

I like to see a baby make his entry 

and struggle to his feet, 

as he sways and weaves like a little drunk, 

and nuzzles for somethin’ to eat. 

When his huntin’ search is over, 

and he finds his mama’s bag, 

you can tell when milk meets stomach, 

’cause his tail begins to wag. 

That’s the sight you’re lookin’ to see, 

and it’s good for a cowman’s heart, 

for he knows that another young’un 

is off to a solid start. 

Sometimes, I just like to stop 

and lean back on ol’ Buck’s rump, 

watchin’ all those baby calves, 

as they buck and butt and jump. 

When the image of healthy baby calves 

starts fillin’ up my eyes, 

I start makin’ plans for the future, 

and begin to fantasize. 

“That clean-sheathed red bull calf 

is dang sure lookin’ stout. 

He’s liable to make that herd bull 

that’ll someday bail us out.” 

“And the mottleface on number 93 — 

man, look at the meat and bone. 

In our breedin’ program, someday, 

he could be a cornerstone.” 

“That fancy little dun heifer, 

she’s awful young yet, I’ll allow, 

but I bet she has the makin’s 

of a first-class mama cow.” 

Though reality will tell me 

that profit’s becomin’ a rarity, 

my mind is set at calvin’ time 

on optimism and prosperity. 

Expenses are outrunnin’ income, 

and the gap is gettin’ wide. 

But the sights and thoughts of calvin’ time 

are still good for me, inside. 

For as long as I can hang on 

and take my livin’ from this earth, 

I’ll be regular in attendance 

at God’s miracle of birth. 

Editor’s note: Joe Kreger writes from his home in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. His CDs are available from the Journal by calling 1-800- 954-5263. For personal appearance information, call 1-816-550-6549.