By Joe Kreger
The National Anthem's old refrain
flowed through the evening air.
My heart was really poundin',
but I was glad that I was there.
I stood tall at attention,
my hat across my chest.
I was here to ride tonight.
I'd do my very best.
A ewe-necked grulla outlaw
filled chute number three.
I knew the one who had 'im drawed.
I reckoned it was me.
The musice stopped; the crowd cheered.
I grabbed my bareback rig.
The grulla kept lickin' at the chute
and snortin like a pig.
I set my rig on his humped-up back,
snagged the cinch beneath his belly.
I swallered down my dip of Skoal.
My intestines felt like jelly.
I jerked the cinch and tied it off,
pulled my glove tight on my hand.
The director said, "You're up next, kid."
The crowd cheered in the stand.
I pulled my hat down on my ears,
climbed astraddle of the chute.
My brand new Jerry Ambler gaffs
was jinglin' from each boot.
The moment of truth was nearly here.
I reached down and got a grip.
I eased my weight down on him
and boarded that grulla ship.
I pulled up hard and leaned back.
I turned out both my toes.
Ol' grulla kept on kickin'
an' blew the rollers in his nose.
My nerves was tight as fiddle strings,
my muscles tense as steel.
Sight and sound was both turned off.
I was ridin' just by feel.
It seemed like an eternity.
Then the chute hand sealed my fate.
He messed up a dang good bareback ride
when he opened the gate.