The plan was to have it read at a little retirement party given in the outgoing sheriff’s honor. I’d planned to just write a line or two, but once the creative juices started flowing, I just couldn’t help myself, and I ended up with my best Walt Whitman impression.

It has a bit of a local flavor, so outside of southern Idaho, not every nuance may be appreciated. Nevertheless, the point that a guy can whip a problem with tactics and ideas he may not have tried before should certainly ring true, whether you’re from Oakley, Idaho or Oakley, Kansas.

The folks started gatherin’. It was really quite early.
At 6:00 AM sharp by the pens west of Burley.
It wasn’t too often they got this kind of action.
At least not since the last big attraction.

Word spread like a fire in the hot August hills,
It rolled ’cross the county and gave young girls chills.
In Declo and Oakley and Almo word came,
‘twas the real thing for, sure – this wasn’t no game!

They even stopped skiing on Pomerelle’s heights,
From Elba, they came through the dead of the nights.
In Rupert ’twas said, “Let’s all swim the river,
Those folks ’cross the creek – this time they’ll deliver!”

It was surely big news and it couldn’t be hid –
A genuine appearance of Randy the Kidd!
A real buckaroo legend, right here in our town –
Come to prove – have no doubt – he’s the toughest around.

The challenge this time was a mean ol’ rank hoss
And Randy’d dang sure show the critter who’s boss.
The famed pony came from the Old Rafter 8 –
’twas never a hand made two jumps past the gate.

The scrap would take place right square at noon,
And 12 o’clock could not get here too soon.
Folks had come from both near and from far –
By boat and by pickup and spud truck and car.

They’d come from all places and towns in the state.
They came early and on time and some even came late.

When the time finally came for the two foes to meet,
It was standing room only clear out to the street.

The bronc was snortin’ and squealin’ and blowing some snot,
But Randy was cool, gave it nary a thought.
The old hoss was trembln’ from his tail to his mane
His eyes spit red fire like a brush fire flame.

The Kidd climbed aboard the old crazy Cayuse,
Gave a nod to the chute boss to turn the brute loose.
The old bronc heaved and let out a deep sigh,
He was meaner than sin, you could see it in his eye.

There’s no way, he thought, that I’ll lose to this Kidd,
I’ll trash him and stomp him like I always did.

Now Randy was older, no more a spring chicken,
He’d been beat up before, survived many a lickin’.
He’d heard the stories ’bout how this hoss could buck,
But he didn’t care – he’d still try his luck.

For he had a secret that the pony never knew –
But now people know it, like me and like you.
The hoss hadn’t seen him for many a year,
And the Kidd’s little secret gave him reason to fear.

Randy would win the battle that day.
His legend secured in a very strange way.
The hoss couldn’t muster the power to buck,
After he tried, he just skulked right back onto the truck.

Though the Kidd’s reflexes were no more like a cat,
He’d bested the outlaw – cuz now he was fat.

Lest I be accused of being disrespectful of the former head of Cassia County’s finest, thus potentially subjecting myself to undue scrutiny from local law enforcement, it should be noted that the former Sheriff Kidd is truly a pretty good hand and is neither too old nor too fat to make a pretty good living for himself atop a horse.


He now spends most of his time doing day work for several of the big outfits around south-central Idaho.  end mark