Cactus Tracks and Cowboy Philosophy

( 3 )


Described by The Washington Post as being able "to make a dead man sit up and laugh," Baxter Black—veterinarian/doctor turned poet/columnist/raconteur—has been making living people laugh with his novel (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?), syndicated columns, appearances on The Tonight Show, and regular pieces on National Public Radio. Now this complete illustrated collection of the commentaries that have aired on NPR's Morning Edition presents Black's latest dose of medicine for animal and human alike. Ranging from a ...

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Described by The Washington Post as being able "to make a dead man sit up and laugh," Baxter Black—veterinarian/doctor turned poet/columnist/raconteur—has been making living people laugh with his novel (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?), syndicated columns, appearances on The Tonight Show, and regular pieces on National Public Radio. Now this complete illustrated collection of the commentaries that have aired on NPR's Morning Edition presents Black's latest dose of medicine for animal and human alike. Ranging from a riotous account of two cowboys chasing down a cow in the nude to a very touching piece about a rancher who loses his wife to cancer and finds out the true worth of his friends and neighbors, Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy brings together Black's best-known and most adored work.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Black (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?) lives and works in the mountain West, "tending critters" and being a part of the lifestyle he loves. In the 119 short essays and poems collected here, all of which he has read on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, he celebrates the world of cowboys and farmers, pickup trucks, feedlots, wild horses, baler twine, stock shows, range fires and rodeos that is "different from the world of most public radio contributors." He and his friends know how to laugh at themselves--as he posits, what else is there to do when elk invade the beanfield, your horse gets spooked by a moose and falls over backward on top of you and ewes go on a rampage at the agricultural fair? The pieces are slightly irreverent, sometimes poignant and always imbued with respect and admiration for the self-reliance and independence "a lot of us from the West are proud of." Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
YA-A new source for students who rebel at poetry assignments. Black, known as a "cowboy poet," has gathered together his popular broadcasts on National Public Radio. His prose and poetry are rich in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of the ranch, prairie, and high country. According to the author, cowboy life dangles "between humor and tragedy" and laughter helps one to get through the tough times. Some of the selections grab the heart, too, including a Christmas poem, "Joe and Maria, The First Christmas...Cowboy Style." Black has a way with words. A hard rain is a "fish-drownin', hat-soakin', slicker-testin' downpour." Older chickens are "blue-haired layers that had lost their bloom." YAs who dream of living the life of a real, honest-to-John (Wayne) cowboy will hoot and holler at this book, and be inspired to try their own unique way of tellin' a tale.Judy Sokoll, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Black (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?, 1994), comic western versifier and former physician to equines, ruminants, and other large domestic animals, rechews his whimsical cud with short pieces originally emanating from the airwaves of NPR.

In over 100 little essays, stories, poems, and songs (and a glossary of feedlot lingo), each read in just the time it takes to soft-boil an egg, ol' Bax' stretches his tales tall and spins his poems. The stories recall the likes of Josh Billings and Artemus Ward of yesteryear, and the galloping poetic rhythm hasn't been so securely ridden since the days of the late Robert W. Service. Black hog-ties his rhymes (e.g.: "fish" with "leash," "up front" with "elephant") with a force emblematic of John Wayne. His stuff, as Baxter advises, "should always be read aloud (or at least move yer lips)." The dialect is ripe with "figgered" and "knowed" and sechlike. Enough final "g"s are dropped to delight any English lord. But what need of syntax and grammar when the book, on the whole, is simply fun, educational for the tenderfoot and redolent for cow people? Some efforts, naturally, work better than others; someone might have introduced Black to the notion of culling. For the most part, though, the seemingly ragtag ramblings are cleverly constructed to tickle fans and bemuse those, not wise to the difference between cow patties and beef patties, who just like the idea of being a cowpoke.

Cowboy Black throws the bull, the cow, the stallion, the mare, common barnyard critters, and even the kitchen sink into these pieces with assurance and, generally, to good effect. Just put on yer five-buckle overshoes, watch where you step, and join the fun.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140276831
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 297,888
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Baxter Black is the author of eleven volumes of cowboy poetry and the bestselling novel Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky? He is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and writes a weekly column, "On the Edge of Common Sense," which appears in newspapers nationwide.

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Table of Contents

Cactus Tracks and Cowboy PhilosophyList of Illustrations
Hangin' On, Hopin' and Prayin' for Rain
Ralph's Tree
All I Want for Christmas
Runnin' Wild Horses
Anonymous End
Home the Hard Way
A Lesson in Life
The Sales Call
A Love Story
Holiday Travelers
The Car Wash
The Practitioner's Lot
Range Free
Chauvinist? Who Me?
Caught in the Act
Rudolph's Night Off
Grandma's Picture Box
Sheepmen, Border Collies, and Mules
The Consultant
Deer Rasslin'
Just Friends
The Ropin' Vet
The Herd Sire
The Cowboy's Guide to Vegetarians
A Vegetarian's Guide to Cowboy's
The Stock Dog Demonstration
Cowboy Preserves
Fear of Flying
January, February, Mud
Boller's Comments
Another Good Man Gone
Ardel's Bull
Dog Emotions
3% Markup
Secret Seasoning
Feast or Famine
Loose Cow
Garthed Out!
Part Indian
White Oaks Rodeo joe and Maria
My Kinda Truck
Vern's Wreck
The Cowboy and his Tapeworm
Bentley the Born-Again Bull
Buffalo Tracks
The Great Chicken Run
Disappearing Digits
Lookin' Back
Political Correctness
The Big High and Lonesome
It Ain't Easy Bein' a Cowboy the Old Stove-Up Cowboys of America
The Grapevine
The Tranquilizer Gun
Keepin' Busy
The Epitaph
A Fox in the Henhouse
Parakeets and Dogs
Cowboy Time
The Flood
Balin' Wheat
The Starr Valley Bean Field War
Chicago's Bratwurst
The National Insect
Moose Alert
What's Christmas to a Cow?
Cold Feet
Pig Feet
Tombstone of Canaan
Neat and Tidy Calving
The C-Section
The Wilderness Wall
Advice Column
Border Collies
He Sang "Little Joe the Wrangler"
The Outback
Truth in Labeling
It's the Law the First Cowboy Thankgiving
The Reindeer Flu
Cowboy Mentality
The Valdez
The Mountain
Of Pigs and Poultry
Cow Xtractor
The Hunter's Son
Doggone Country
The Romantic Cowboy
A Cowboy Parade
Cow Attack
Anti-Smokin' Device
High Cost of Recycling
In the Doghouse
Inheriting the Family Room
The Lost Chicken
Workin' for Wages
Minnesota Oreos
Oreos Apology
Leroy and Tom
Cowboy Vegetarian Cookbook
Noah's Dispersal Sale
Duct Tape Agriculture
Cow Polygamy
Shoein' Pigeye
Nature Films
The Houlihan
Religious Reflections
Just Words
Here Come De Judge
NPR Air Dates

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2005

    Baxter is the Best barnyard and ranch poet in the west.

    In this book, Baxter Black uses a unique style of writing that adds to the ranch and barnyard style poetry. It is like you are listening to a real cowboy speak. The detailed writing makes you feel like you¿re standing right there in the barnyard watching the action or listening to stories with a bunch of cowboys. I feel that Baxter did a great job writing this book and a great job with explaining the cowboy lifestyle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2009

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    Posted November 29, 2009

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