Last night I read a small book entitled OLD HANDS, OLD BRANDS by Herbert (Jake)
Handley. It tells of the early days of raising cattle in western South Dakota.
At the time of this incident, a roundup was being held in the area where the
Diamond A outfit ran a lot of cattle. Cap Mossman was the one in charge of running
the Diamond A, and he was pretty progressive and aggressive. He was always on
the look-out to expand the operation.
On this particularly fine evening a full moon was shining down on the camp. The first guard had just ridden out to the herd to do their two hours of watching the cattle. The horse wrangler had just turned the remuda over to the "night hawk" for him to watch the horses during the night. The cook was busy in the tent around the stove making ready some "chuck" with which to put out a quick breakfast in the morning. The rest of the cowboys were sitting around the campfire, perched on their bedrolls, enjoying a brief period of rest and relaxation before turning in for the night.
The cowboys looked up at the full moon, and somebody wondered out loud if there was life up there. One cowboy surmised, "Do you suppose there is grass and water and trees on the moon?" Another good hand confidently stated, "I know for a fact there ain't." "Well, how can you be so sure?" he was asked. The answer: "If there was any grass and water on the Moon, Cap Mossman would have had it leased for summer pasture years ago."
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