Years ago, when I had more hair and less belly, there was a movement with some ranchers and others to speculate in raising ostrich. This poem was written in response to that movement.

Pimple Pocked Boots

By Don Roundy, 1991


There was a time of open ranges

When a cowboy would ner’ dismount.

Ranch life has suffered changes

Along with product and lifestyle discount.

Legion has treated cowboys dearly

But, say fifty years from now

I think we will see quite clearly

The cowboy will have no cow.


No shivering storm chilled maverick

To rely on horse and man.

No weather wasted salt lick

No rope or piggin’ strand.

No ornery, stupid

Should-a-been steer’

To smash you against a fence.

I fear working cowboy pioneer

Will have problems of worse intense.

Supply for American’s beef demand

Could soon take a turn that’s ‘foul’

As ranchers buy ostriches!

A full change in gland!

And retire their spur and rowel.

Ostrichs’ a bird! Too dumb to fly.

You can’t earmark this inferior stock.

A calf is on hoof from an early try

But those eggs are not part of a flock.


An ostrich can plumb out run a horse.

It’s embarrassing and it’s absurd.

They can strike with deadly impending force.

Imagine, dying from being kicked by a bird.

Gone the rodeo grit, no more rawhide, but pock.

With a new style of garb and kack.

No bull riding, but a mount on an ostrich cock

As he runs all around ransack.

As a youth I owned a doggie calf

Fed from a nipple on a warmed milk keg.

Twas a joy for me, such a bonding to have.

I can’t imagine being friends with an egg.


Ah, the rim rock, recall hidden bushed up steer.

Fighting brush oak and recrafting the brand.

Hidden ostrich location will readily appear

As they stand with head in the sand.

Well, times do change, and the cowboy must too.

Ban the branding and loading chutes.

We must handle a critter who’s most noble virtue

Is to become a pair of Pimple Pocked Boots.