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When times were tough, and the drought was far advanced, cowpunchers had to feed the herd somehow. Sam Dawson tells us how he did on! Introducing Mr. Sam B. Dawson, one of the most "Shore 'Nuff" cowboys I know. Straight from the brush country of South Texas, now residing in North Central Texas, where he operates a small spread out of Mountain Springs. The following poem is one of the first I ever heard Sam do, and I was struck by its authenticity, and its down to earth realism. I've heard of a little pear burning myself, so it brought back memories of the stories my Dad would tell. Please enjoy the works of Sam Dawson...
Born and raised in South Texas, where the
mesquite and prickly pear grow,
White brush, black brush and cat-claw,
what don’t stick you, will bite you you know

It was back in ’49 when first it didn’t rain
And then not till ’56 before rain came again
Out on that old red sand ranch some
pear grew fifteen feet tall,
But by the time we finished burnin’, some
pastures had no pear at all.

Just the mention of the name “Pear Burner”
could trigger a hives break out.
“Cause every mornin’ before school time,
and every evening after,
You knew just what was comin’,
of that there was no doubt.

Those Brahma would come a ‘ running,
When you fired that burner up
They knew that it meant feedin’ time,
And they couldn’t ever get enough

Better tie down those britches legs
with a piece of hide.
The critters comin’ out of that pear will
surely try to get inside.
And a rat or rattler can make you dance,
‘Specially runnin’ up the leg of your pants!

Those old Brahma liked that pear when
it was nice and hot.
Guess it was as close to candy
as a Brahma ever got.
A two inch club made of mesquite, placed
square between the horns
Could usually keep a fellow from gettin’
pushed into the thorns.

The smell of burning coal oil was with you all the time,
But, since all your partners at school,
Were smellin’ just the same, no one even cared.

And to mention it in passing, no one ever dared.
Then finally the rain came and everyone rejoiced.
In the pastures, we had grass again,
a Brahma’s real first choice!

Now-a-days the ‘AG’ guys say;
“Root-plow those pastures, cowboy!
With that pear you should do away!”
And, you know, I have to wonder,
if the rain should stop again,
What would those Brahma do without pear
and some pear burning friends?