Not a thing in the woods had McCluskey to fear,
As he swung the gord stick o’er his big spotted steers,
Short leg-ged and shaggy, girting eight foot and three,
Said McCluskey to Scot, “They’re the laddies for me.”
Oh, next came Bull Gordon, the skidding was full
As he hollered “Whoa hush” to his little brown bulls,
They were young, sound, and quick, girting six foot and nine,
“Too light,” said McCluskey, “to handle our pine.”
“For it’s three to the thousand, our contract did call;
Our skidding ‘tis good and our timber, ‘tis tall.
Said McCluskey to Gordon, “To make the day full
I will skid ten to one of your little brown bulls.”
“Oh no,” said Bull Gordon, “that you never can do,
Though your big spotted steers are the pets of the crew,
But mind you, my laddie, you’ll have your hands full
When you skid one more log than my little brown bulls.”
Oh, the day was appointed, and soon it drew nigh,
For twenty-five dollars their fortunes to try.
Both eager and anxious, the morning was found;
The scalers and judges appeared on the ground.
That morning said Gordon, with blood in his eye,
“Today I will conquer McCluskey or die.”
Said Sandy to Gordon, “We’ll take off their skins;
We’ll dig them a grave, we will tumble them in.
With a whoop and a yell came McCluskey in view,
With the big spotted steers, the pets of the crew,
Sayin’, “Chew your cuds slowly, boys, keep your mouths full,
For you eas’ly can conquer those little brown bulls.”
Oh, next came Bull Gordon, with the little brown bulls,
With a pipe in his mouth and a cud in his jaw,
But little did they think when they saw them come down
That a hundred and forty they could eas’ly yank ‘round.
Oh, the sun had gone down and the foreman did say,
“Turn in boys, turn in, you’ve done enough for today,
For well we have called each man for his team;
Very well do we know which team holds the beam.”
After supper was over, McCluskey appeared,
With a belt ready made for his big spotted steers.
To make it he tore up his best mackinaw;
He was bound to conduct it according to law.
Oh, the scaler speaks up; said he, “Hold on you a-while,
Your big spotted steers are behind just a mile.
You’ve skidded one hundred and ten and no more,
While Gordon has beat you by ten and a score.”
The boys, they all holler’d; McCluskey did swear,
As he tore out in handfuls his long yellow hair.
Said McCluskey to Gordon, “My dollars you’ll pull,
And the belt you shall have for your little brown bulls.”
So here’s to Bull Gordon and Big Sandy John,
For the biggest day’s work on the Wolf River ever was done.
So fill up your glasses, boys, fill them plumb full,
And we’ll drink to the health of those little brown bulls.