"A Few Words in Passing"

16" x 20" Oil on Linen

"Nighthawks" did not have a lot of time during their monotonous night rides for visiting or telling stories with their fellows.  Generally in two's, the guys on duty rode in opposite directions around the bedded down herd of cattle who, in the best of situations, was unpredictable.  They looked for coyotes or wolves who might sneak the perimeter or for anything else that might spook the herd and set off a stampede.  They talked to the cows in low voices meant to sooth and to comfort any in a herd that felt the slight bit skittish.  Of course, cows were born skittish so it was a constant job keeping them calm.  Some sang, some mumbled sweet nothings about the intelligence and parentage of their charges in a even toned voice.  The only time they had much time to say about something to one another is when they passed - twice in the circle.  If you asked a question, sometimes you got your answer on the other side.  This was no time to argue.  It made a man think and choose his words.  It might take several cycles to get the complete story.  But whatever you needed to say, you did not shout it out.

Never.  Never.  Ever!





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