Pigeon

by Jean Wayt

In one of my previous stories I wrote about when the second world war had ended and things at home were getting a little easier. The government had discontinued the rationing program which meant not only food like butter and sugar, and much more, and gas, cars, leather and shoes were much more plentiful. And that was about the time Doug and Milt wanted to start roping and rodeoing. Dad still had his saddle, bridles, bits, blankets and all the rest of his gear so he had every thing except a horse. So dad started keeping his eyes and ears open in case some prospect should come along.

We lived in Elbert Country and the town of Kiowa was the county seat, and was about 50 miles northwest of us. I doubt that they had 150 people there but they did have a courthouse and every now and then we had to go there for licenses and legal stuff. They even had a bank that some outlaws tried to rob one time but weren’t successful. It was just a little old town where a few pine trees grew that was on the edge of The Black Forest that ran from there west to the mountains.

One day when dad had to make a trip to the courthouse and as he was driving down the street he glanced down a side street and saw a brown horse standing in a pen a short distance down the street. So he turned around and went back to check it out. There was a little barn with several pens built around it and this horse was standing in a pen just soaking up the sun. Dad pulled over and stopped and proceeded to give him an inspection. He was brown and some people would call him a bay but to me he was always brown! Dad just stood there shaking his head but didn’t enter the pen as the owner might not look too kindly to a stranger doing that especially since he found out later that it belonged to the sheriff.

So dad went on over to the courthouse and got his business done and asked one of the clerks if he knew who owned the barn that he described and the clerk said, “ Yeah, thats Roy Brown's place. He’s the sheriff and his office is downstairs over in the corner.“ So downstairs he went and spotted the sheriff. He was sitting his big chair, boots upon his desk with a wad of Day’s Work in his cheek and only 3 teeth in the upper part of his mouth. They shook hands and thus started their lifetime of friendship.

They went over to his barn to talk horsetrading. Dad asked what his breeding was and Roy told him that he was the last colt out of Bobby B, a well-known remount stud that was kept at Fort Carson. But later on they quit having horses and went to jeeps. Dad mouthed him as a five year old and bought him. He brought him home and unloaded him and all we could do was stare at him. If somebody that knew nothing at all about horses they would think I was describing a cartoon. He stood 15.3 hands tall -- a little sway back — had a scar on the side of his neck -- was a little pigeon toed and had one big knee. We named him Pigeon. He had a powerful rearend that would make a calf roper drool, and they did. He was built in front just as good. Dad and Milt and Doug started training on him and within about six months they started placing on him at some of the smaller rodeos and he was getting better all the time. The guys took a lot of ribbing about him but when they starting beating them that soon stopped. But I’m telling you that when dad looked at a horse he never let any of that other stuff bother him. He knew his horses! When Milt won the Colorado State Calf Roping Championship at age 19 there was no holding them back!

Pigeon had such a powerful stop on him he would jerk the calves over and knocked the wind out of him then Milt would have to lift the calf up and leg him down to tie him. That would never do at rodeos these days because your not allowed to jerk them down which I think in a good rule. 

Pigeon had such a sweet disposition, he never had any bad habits. There were a lot great things about Pigeon but it has been 60 years since that time and my old memory can only stretch so far.