It's said he lives a better life an' is free, he can even go to the best University. If this is so, why does he seem so sad? Surely things can't be all that bad.
Maybe it comes from fear of seeing' all he knows disappear. Now he drives a pickup an' raises cattle an' sheep, knowin' from what was to what is has been a long leap.
His ancestors roamed across the plains, ridin' horses with only knees an' rawhide reins, followin' buffalo that thundered over the land; their only enemy was the wiley red man.
Soon they both faced a ferocious outsider, one who covered the land faster and wider. The Indian called him white eyes. An' cause of him the Indian way dies.
The Indian began to lose his freedom to roam, as white eyes took more an' more for his home. By an' by the buffalo began to disappear, soon it looked as tho' both were never here.
I thought about this and pondered some, tryin' to figure where this was a comin' from. Seemed it was just a reflection of the Indian way that had faded, a time that had seen its' day.
Progress comes an' progress goes, an everythings better, everybody knows. Still, we're a doin' our best to preserve the cowboy way. Maybe knowin' all along it's seen its' day, a way of life lost, like the Indian and the buffalo. Progress comes as we watch the ol' way go.
The open country with the freedom to roam an' live off the land was lost to progress an' the need for efficient use by man. Progress, a magic thing where life was bettered an' the Indian way was changed an' fettered.
There are those who say the buffalo was destroyed to leave the Indian in a void. True, the buffalo gave the Indian meat, tools, an' hides for home an' bed. But progress an' profit from fertilizer, hides an' sport left the buffalo dead.
There was a time when the west belonged to the tribes, but, with progress, came crowdin', fightin an' bribes. Gold was found an' the Indian was moved to a reservation, the best thing for his own preservation.
There was a need for beef an' wheat, all these people had to eat.
The farmer, rancher and cowboy came. From then on it was never the same.
Railroads an' roads were built, dams on lakes were made, ditches were dug an' pipe was laid. Lines were drawn an' fences were strung, towns were built and filled with young.
The farmer an ranchers fed the town an' much of the world. The towns grew needin' more wood, water an' space to unfurl. The west was small again, progress was on it's way. Like the Indian, the farmer an' rancher had to pay.
That magic thing called progress is here again, only this time everyone can win. We don't need to fight the wind an' rain, sun an' snow, we've got internet, television an' air conditioning, don't ya know?
For the good of all, the government takes control takin' measure of the wood, water an' every nook an' knoll. The farmer, rancher and cowboy live on a reservation, the best thing for their own preservation.
Maybe we can forget the cowboy an' life on the range, an' accept progress an' all this change. What's the need for a farmer, rancher, or cowboy, his beef an' wheat?
We can all just go to the grocery store up the street.