Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Cowboy and His Hat

A Cowboy And His Hat

by Liz Hoyt Eberle

This original story was written by

Liz Hoyt

Especially for and dedicated to

her little brother

Jerry Mack Hoyt

On his 62nd birthday

July 8, 2003

With devotion and tender love

A Cowboy & His Hat

                         by  The Cowboy’s Big Sister

       J.M. always wore his cowboy hat. It was red and he loved that hat with all his might. J.M. wore his red cowboy hat everywhere.
       Alll the time.
‘Cause he was a REAL cowboy.

J.M. wore his red cowboy hat when he saddled up his trusty tricycle horse, Big Boy, for a ride over to the corral at Grandpa’s house just to check things out.

J.M. wore his cowboy hat when he rounded up the stray kittens and when he went down to the mailbox with Paw.

He wore his cowboy hat when it was time to stop off at the chuck wagon for chow.

He wore his cowboy hat when Maw said, “Climb in the big van wagon, J.M. Let’s ride into town for groceries!”

When J.M. was invited to Aunt Elizabeth’s house for milk and cookies, he scrubbed his face and hands, put on a clean neckerchief, shoved that red cowboy hat on his head and galloped off down the street.

J.M. wore his cowboy hat when he said his prayers.

And he always wore his cowboy hat when he climbed into his bunk at the end of a long, hot day on the trails.

J.M. wore his red cowboy hat everywhere.
            All the time.
       ‘Cause he was a real cowboy.

One day, his maw said, “J.M., Paw and I have been seeing how you are growing up so it is time to talk about your red cowboy hat.”

“What about my hat, Maw?”  J.M.’s eyes got big and he felt scared.

“Well, Son, you can’t wear your hat everywhere…. Or … all the time anymore.”

“Why not, Maw? I’m a real cowboy.”

“Yes, I know,” said his very wise mother. “But, since you ARE a real cowboy, it is time for you to learn about being a really good, grown up cowboy.”

“What does that mean, Maw?”

“A good cowboy ALWAYS takes his hat off-and holds it in his hands­- when he talks to a lady.”

“You mean wimmin, Maw? Like who?”

“Oh, like me. Like Grandma, and Aunt Elizabeth. And…. even other ladies……like your friend, Janice.”

“Shucks, Maw! Janice ain’t no lady, she’s just an ole girl! And she wears her cowboy hat, too.”

“Yes, J.M., you must even take your hat off when you talk to Janice,” Maw said quietly.

“Oh yukkkkkk, Maw!”

“And, I’m afraid that’s not all,” Maw said.

“Ohhhhhh Maaaaaw,” J.M. wailed  “What else?????”

“J.M., a really good, grown up cowboy ALWAYS takes his hat off when he prays and when he goes into the House of the Lord.”

J.M. was very quiet for a while.


Then, with a big sigh he said, “Well, yeah, Maw, I know that God is mighty important and He’s kinda in charge of everything. I guess I can do that. So…
…is that all?”

“No, that’s not all, J.M.  There is more. Did you see that new rack that Paw hung up on the wall by the front door?”

J.M. nodded his head, “Yes Ma’am, I did. What’s it for?”

“When a cowboy comes into the house, if he’s a real, honest, true- and grown up- cowboy, he ALWAYS takes his hat off and hangs it on the rack.”
“But, Maw…” J.M. practically screamed!

“Hold on Son, there is more.”


“J.M., this is the very most important one of all. And you must never, never forget this one.  OK?”

“Well….. I’ll try, Maw. What is it?”

“J.M., when a cowboy sits down at the table to eat his chow, he must always- ALWAYS take off his hat.”
“Yeah,” J.M. laughed, “but Maw, what if there ain’t no rack to hang it on?” He KNEW he had his Maw on that one!

“That’s not a problem, J.M.,” Maw smiled. “A really, really good, really gown up cowboy  just sets his hat under his chair!”

That was too much for J.M.

He sat down on the floor and still wearing his red cowboy hat, he put his head in his hands and moaned.
And groaned.
      And moaned some more.
            What was he to do?
 He wanted to mind what his maw and paw said and he wanted to be a really, really, really good grown up cowboy. But, take his hat off?
So much?
All the time?
Oh, that was just too much for such a little cowboy.
J.M. shuffled out to saddle up his trusty tricycle horse, Big Boy, and rode up and down the sidewalk for a long time, thinking about his red cowboy hat and what his maw said and about being a grown up REAL cowboy.

When his maw called him in to supper, he had to wipe his face fast so she wouldn’t see he had been crying. He sniffed hard and went inside, washed his face and hands and went to the table.

 J.M. took a deep breath and very slowly….. took off his cowboy hat. He set it under his chair- very gently.

J.M. ate his chow real fast, and said, “Can--, I mean, may I be ’cused?”

He grabbed his hat and ran outside…… to check out the fences before dark.

When it was bedtime, J.M.’s maw was waiting at the door.  He stood on the porch  for a while.  And……. Finally, J.M. took off his cowboy hat.

Then he stepped inside and …very slowly …hung his hat on the new hat rack.
His maw smiled and said, “J.M. Your paw and I are proud of you. You are a brave cowboy who is growing up fast. And, you know what? Paw says he thinks it will be just fine for you to take a bath in your cowboy hat---- and, maybe, if you really want to, after you say your prayers, you may sleep in your red cowboy hat.”    

J.M.’s face lit up in a grin. He grabbed his hat off the rack!

He even let his maw give him a big hug.

But--- he was really careful to hold his cowboy hat behind him
                so it wouldn’t get squshed!
NOT the end…..

The rest of the story is that
JM grew up to be a
real cowboy
 in the whole world
who is loved VERY MUCH !
now, THAT's all  !!