With my deepest apologies to Percy French
The men at the bar, are brave men we’re told
And quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest by far, on the stools of the bar,
Was Cleavus; his countenance quite queer.
If you wanted a man with a rusty old van,
Bumper stickers all over its rear,
Not registered no doubt, you had only to shout
For Cleavus whose features were queer.
Now the drunks were plenty and well known to fame
Behind the bar, car keys held, not near,
And the foulest of these was a man by the name
Of ‘Cleavus’ with facial scars quite clear.
One day a young deputy, un-holstered his gun
And donned a south Texas sneer,
To the bar he did go, where he trod on the toe
Of Cleavus; wife nibbling on his right ear.
Young man, said the deputy, “Is life grown so dull?
That you wish to end your career?”
“Oh poor deputy, you have trod on the boot
Of Cleavus!” said McGee’s wife; without an iota of fear.
“So take your last look at your donnybrook,
And send your regrets to your spouse”
By this she implied, the deputy should drive,
With great speed, back to the police station house.
With that said he knew, Cleavus drew his .22,
Shouting, “Hot doggity”, and “Hot diggity!”
And with murderous intent he ferociously sent
A few shots toward the ignorant deputy.
They rolled as they shot, poor marksmen ‘twer not,
Their blood they spilled in a large spot;
The yarn-spinning folks, who seldom crack jokes,
Say that tales would be made ‘bout their lot.
With bullets of both spent; at ‘tuther’s necks they went;
The din, it was heard from afar,
And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame,
Of the fight at the ‘Old Cactus Bar.’
As Cleavus’ switchblade Knife threatened the life,
Of the deputy shouting of McGee’s disgrace,
“My God old cow-hand, what happened; get panned? -
With cast iron to your ugly face.”
The Sheriff rode that night, in his black and white,
Expecting the deputy to cheer,
But as he drew nigh he heard the last sigh,
Of the deputy laying quite near.
There’s a tomb rises up near the Pecos River flow,
And carved in marble, characters clear,
Is, “Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul
Of the deputy who McGee had no fear.”
A flash of short light, on that dark moonless night
Caused gasping to spread wide and far,
From forehead through eye, and passing right by,
‘Twas McGee’s quite horrible scar.
An ear was displaced, then Cleavus’ wife faced
A probiscus hanging by a thread,
It was made by the knife, of deputy losing life,
However, now he had nothing to dread.
A splash in Rio Grande, body of old cow-hand,
Caused ripples to reflect his wife’s image,
A night that ‘twas black, the Sheriff’s image in back,
Reflecting a love affair – – – with some vintage.
A Mexican maiden her lone vigil keeps,
‘Neath the flag of that lone Texas star,
And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,
Is that of Deputy Cleavus McGee-LaBarr.
Now, for those of you who have a sudden urge to sing please read the above poem to the following tune.
Thank you very much.
BOTH Cleavuses have left the building.