Cowtown Tales: Cowboy, Fiddler & A Fuchsia Haze

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    Every cowboy has his list of tales, especially those he makes when he enters a new location. Even more interesting will be the new towns, cow-towns.

    This little story is inspired by a photograph, taken by Kent Reeves, Cowboy Conservationist & Photographer​, and mule packer extraordinaire, who has his own interesting photographic essay going. He does have a most interesting list of folks to record. Like the gent in this image, Fiddlin'Pete - Peter J Watercott.

    I have never heard Peter fiddle, but I can just imagine the sound echoing off that big-brim hat being a sweet low tune calling me back to the sagebrush alley where I belong.

    Do enjoy. The image is poster size 32" x 20".

    Thanks to Kent Reeves​ and Peter J Watercott​ for permission to indulge them in my scribble fantasies. Hope y'all enjoy. - AOF


    Cowtown Tales
    Cowboy, Fiddler & A Fuchsia Haze

    By the pale of a shivaree moon,
    My boots upon new path trod.
    In a cowtown where I was unknown,
    In surroundings made unsure
    By the lack of livestock smells,
    And the tinkle of dance hall belles.
    But forward I trod in pursuit,
    Of what I have no sure intent,
    It just seemed worth the pace.

    How far had I stumbled,
    Into this urban world I roamed.
    Unknown for a languid time,
    Until the note did perk my ear
    Coming from a source unknown,
    Calling me in its direction.
    I answered with no predilection,
    Curiosity being my guide,
    I followed in hot pursuit.

    Lighted street, lonely walks beckoned,
    Amid the garbage strewn refuse.
    My stride did utterly quicken,
    Not from fear but smitten
    With an unknown quantity,
    I delighted in squarely.
    My stride took on the air,
    Of a leaf in afternoon breeze,
    Dancing to a sweet familiar beat.

    Strange the hue of distant glow,
    Reminds of post rain western sky.
    Sharp purple mixed in gold,
    The color of royals, so I am told
    When jesters played court,
    In days long gone and old.
    The familiar tune flew by again,
    Encouraged, grey cells took t'quiver,
    Like moth to flame I did deliver.

    Quickened my pace in fast retort,
    Into the distant hue I strolled.
    Rounding the corner of a dark red barn,
    I caught a warm familiar sight
    Of dancers kickin' jig,
    To the tune of a fiddler's reel.
    Before I knew it,
    I was dancin' to it,
    And in the arms of a golden haired girl.

    Around and around, we did go,
    For't'I knowed it, we's 'da show.
    Whirled she did a big hooped skirt,
    My heart near burst clean'my shirt
    Amid the music, sounds 'n all,
    Then I saw him slim 'n tall.
    He drew a golden horsehair bow,
    Across the neck of maple strong
    'Or strings of cat gut tight 'n new.

    The notes he played upon that night,
    Filled my soul full perfuse.
    Grabbed me like, 'lectric shock,
    I could not -would not- let it go
    Rhythm rocked my inner chords,
    I couldn't let go, even had I tried.
    All because of the fiddler man,
    Bathed in light gone fuchsia pure,
    Topped in a big, flat-brimmed hat.

    The golden haired girl pulled me close,
    A growin' smile belied my fear.
    The Fiddler Man must'a 'knowed,
    He struck upon a familiar chord
    It hit my ear, melted all the fear,
    As our boots lit up the floor.
    We swayed 'n swirled to the cat gut tune,
    Soon's as our eyes met, the fiddle struck,
    With fuchsia light, the room had filled.

    How long that fiddler played,
    I can only speculate.
    When I realized I had stopped,
    The empty stage caught me hard
    Realized the golden hair girl was gone,
    Took me to my knees.
    Thin ribbon of a rising sun,
    Broke the fuchsia haze,
    Mid lingri'n notes, hung a fiddler's tune.

    Was it true or just a dream?
    A reality I could not confirm.
    My boots were warm 'n bore dancin' use
    I smelled of ginger, heather and sweat,
    Midst a feelin' of growin' deep regret.
    To this day when fuchsia tints the sky,
    I pause to listen for the sound,
    Cat gut playin' the shivaree moon,
    By a fiddler, in a big, flat brimmed hat.

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