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Old John’s Last Ride

By Elton Mellum


We might have been old codgers

good friends John and me

Cause John was an ugly 82

And I was pushing 83


We’d rode all these mountains and valleys

And fished most all of the streams

We’d Hunted Elk, Bear, and Deer

Till we’d see them in our dreams


As we rode now in the moon light

Old John said to me

If I should ever die

This is how I hope it’ll be


Have them cremate me

Spread half my ashes up here

Spread the rest outside my cabin

Along the lake I love so dear


He’d no sooner said that

When a trophy buck appeared

He startled the horses

So mine up and reared


I was sure that we’d scared him off

But was so startled he stood still

And I got my sights on him

And made a clean kill


But I guess old Johns heart

Must have skipped a beat

And the result of it all

Was he was off of his feet


I knelt down beside him

On his last moonlit night

He smiled and said to me

“Man it’s peaceful in the light”

Once I got it back together

It came into my mind

I’d need all the horses to get back

But couldn’t leave John behind


So I built a campfire

And got out the old coffee pot

figuring some coffee and food

Might help out my thought


It came to me then

How to make it all work out

I knew old John would love it

Of that I had no doubt


So I gathered up a lot of wood

And made a funeral bier

Then laid old John out on it

And lit up the fire


Later when I broke camp

The buck across the pack horses back

And up on Johns saddle

Rode that big trophy rack


Then I spread half his ashes

And John would have loved it by damn

To know half of him rode home

In our old coffee can