Photo of old rusted red pickup truck, partly buried in the snow.

A Cowboy's Prayer

Jake the rancher went one day to fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense
As he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go,
The temperature had fallen and the snow began to blow.

When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heavy heart.
From the sound of that ignition, he knew it wouldn't start.
So Jake did what most of us would do if we'd have been there
He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.

As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck.
They found him three days later, frozen stiff in that old truck.
Now Jake had been around in life and done his share of roamin'
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked -- it look just like Wyomin'.

Oh, there were some differences of course, but just some minor things,
One place had simply disappeared -- the town they called Rock Springs.
The BLM had been shut down; there were no grazin' fees
And the wind in Rawlins and Cheyenne was now a gentle breeze.

The Park and Forest Service folks -- they didn't fare so well,
They'd all been sent to fight some fire in a wilderness called Hell.
Though Heaven was a real nice place, Jake had a wondering mind
So he saddled up and lit a shuck, not know'n what he'd find.

Then one day up in Cody, on a cold fall afternoon,
He saw St. Peter coming, and he knew he'd be there soon.
Of all the saints in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter,
Now, this line, it ain't needed but it helps with rhyme and meter.

So they set and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three
Nobody was keepin' score -- in Heaven time is free.
"I've always heard," Jake said to Pete, "that God will answer prayers.
"But the one time that I asked for help, He just plain wasn't there.

"Does God answer prayers of some, and ignore the prayers of others?
"That don't seem exactly square -- I know all men are brothers.
"Or does He randomly reply, without good rhyme or reason?
"Maybe it's the time of day, the weather or the season.

"Now I ain't trying to act smart, it's just the way I feel,
And I was wonderin', could you tell -- what the heck's the deal?"
Peter listened very patiently and when Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition, and he said, "So, you're the one!"

That day your truck, it wouldn't start, and you sent your prayer a flying,
"You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us a trying.
"A thousand angels rushed to check the status of your file,
"But you know, Jake, we hadn't heard from you in quite a while
"And though all prayers are answered, and God ain't got no quota,
"He didn't recognize your voice, and started a truck in North Dakota."
[ Author Unknown -- submitted by: George Nobler, via Keith Todd - Updated 2013]

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