As heard on the Good Stuff with Jim Thompson


Jeb’s a ridin’, trailin’ homeward, by his side his partner, Tye.

They’re driftin’ in from cow camp, Christmas eve is comin’ nigh.

They’ve been cooped up in that line shack since the leaves fell to the ground

And herdin’ all them cattle makes cowboys yearn to get around.


Now, they’ve had no chance for shoppin’, there’s no stores out on this range,

And each one has had his heart set on a gift for little Jane.

She’s the boss’s only daughter, flashin’ eyes and curly hair,

And, ‘tho they’re not related, she’s like family to that pair.


Oh, they’d put some things together, antler hat rack for the boss,

Braided rawhide reins and hobbles little Jane could use on Hoss.

Strung pretty beads on leather for a necklace for her mother,

But there was a gift they wanted, discussed it with each other.


Now, what they both most wanted to present to that small girl

Was a life size Raggedy Ann she could dance around and whirl.

But they knew they couldn’t find one before time to give the gifts.

In fact, they had no notion where to find a doll like this.


So they’re ridin’ there in silence, Tye’s old cowdog trailed along,

Their horses hoofs in crisp new snow soundin’ out a winter’s song

The moon was full and shining bright, the winter sky was clear,

With a bright star in the north, soft breezes comin’ from the rear.


The ranch is getting’ closer, they’re lookin’ forward with delight,

And the shadows stand out sharply in a world of bright moonlight.

That moon had sailed across the sky, startin’ on it’s downward slide,

Showin’ shadows out beside them, keepin’ up with horses stride.



When suddenly, they heard a noise, comin’ somewhere from behind,

Sounds like wind through eagle wings and a gruntin’ sound combined.

Then the sound of harness creakin’ brought their heads around to see

But not a movement broke the moonlight, what could those noises be?


Then both see things they can’t believe, they can only sit and stare

Shadows of reindeer, man and sleigh, mixed with horses shadows there.

But nothin’s in the sky above to match shadows on the ground,

It had slipped up from behind them, now disappeared without a sound.


Well, you can bet this thing has spooked ‘em  but what really raised their hair

Was that dog and them two horses, act like there was nothin’ there.

Them horses walkin’ on plumb easy, dog trottin’ ‘long behind

You can tell by lookin’ at the three not a thing disturbed their mind.


A little further down the trail they see tracks of runners now,

And prints of cloven hoofs left there, much too small to be a cow.

Then lo and ‘hold, what should they see, but a sack that’s tied with red

Settin’ there on moonlit snow beside the tracks left by that sled.


Now, these cowboys ain’t no cowards but this deal has chilled their hide

‘cause things appeared they don’t believe and they’re plumb shook up inside.

But bein’ they are cowboys, and like antelope on the range,

They just can’t resist a closer look when things are new or strange.


So off they swing to take a look, and Jeb opens up the neck,

First thing they see is Raggedy Ann in pretty gingham check.

And on her sleeve was tied a note from “Santa of North Pole fame”,

Says, “Since you boys have been so good, here’s that doll for little Jane.”


Now, they have always acted tough, but this has sure unnerved ‘em

So when they reached the ranch house, they’re jabberin’ just like children.

Wavin’ arms, excited talk, each tryin’ to take the glory,

They told their tale, folks shook their heads, only Jane believed their story.

©10-31-2005 Slim McNaught