Saddle Up Saloon; Guest Guessed

Written by D. Avery @shiftnshake

       Read my writing and see my books at

August 23, 2020

Saddle Up Saloon“Howdy, Pal. Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon!”

Welcome ta the Saddle Up Saloon? Kid, why’re ya talkin’ at me like I’m a guest here? Oh, no. Don’t tell me.”

“Hmm, hmm, hmm.”

“Kid? Ya got somethin’ ta tell me?”

“Jeez, Pal! Ya said not ta tell ya!”

“Not ta tell me whut?”

“Cain’t tell ya. Ya told me not to.”

“Kid! Jeez! Okay, I’ll tell ya whut I think it is ya ain’t feelin’ able ta tell me an’ you jist stamp yer foot if’n I guessed it right. Okay? Jist noddin’ yer head yes… okay, is it thet ya ain’t got a plan, ain’t got nuthin’ lined up fer this week? Okay, stop yer stampin’, yer rattlin’ the mugs off the shelf. An’ I’m guessin’ further thet yer tryin’ ta rope me inta bein’ the guest? Okay, I done guessed it, so ya kin use yer yap agin.”

“Thing is Pal, I did have a plan, an’ I’m stickin’ ta that plan, jist pushin’ it all back a week. Mebbe. So, yeah, this week’s a little on the fly.”

“Jeez Kid, should git you some patches fer the seat a yer pants. They’s gittin’ worn thin.”

“That’s kinda a cheeky remark Pal. We kin do this. Asides, lots a folks go inta a saloon an’ jist have a drink, don’t need no other ennertainments or distractions. Come on, set at the bar, have a glass a story primer.”

“Well, one drink couldn’t hurt.”

“That’s often true, Pal, usually one can’t do no harm. Less it’s the last one that come after a bunch a other ones. But here, jist drink this one.”

“An’ maybe one more.”

“Sure Pal. So. How long ya been workin’ at Carrot Ranch?”


“Jeez, Pal, kin ya say a little more? Like since What’s-Her-Name showed up?”

“Our writer? No, thet’s when you showed up Kid, but I was already here.”

“So ya been at Carrot Ranch since Shorty started Carrot Ranch? Over eight years?”

“Longer’n thet Kid. Fer. Ev. Er. An’ heck, Carrot Ranch’s been aroun’ since even a’fore Shorty’s first post. Lived as a hope an’ a dream she’d been carryin’. Reckon I was tucked in amongst the supplies an’ barn boards she’d loaded onta the buckboard.”

“Ya mean Shorty an’ ya’ve known each other even b’fore the Ranch was built?”

“Not e’zactly, Kid. It’s hard ta explain. Shorty always knew me, but hadn’t never realized me. She knew I was here like she knows ever’thin’ else thet belongs on a ranch; like knowin’ somethin’ so well ya don’t see ‘em, if ya know what I mean. See, a fictional character has ta be realized, an’ thet does mean ya gotta git writ. Ya git writ an’ read— ya materialize.”

“Then, Pal, warn’t I also here ferever, like you?”

“No, Kid. Ya came later.”

“How come?”

“’Cause I say so. Yer the greenhorn thet come later. Yer likely always gonna be learnin’ the ropes. But ya have brought some firsts ta the ranch. Like buckaroo-ku.”

“I mighta called it what it is Pal, but was you come up with the first buckaroo-ku ever, ‘member?

Bunkhouse floor dirt tracked
Every clod has a story
Time swept clean away”

“Oh yeah. Thet was when folks was writin’ ‘bout gittin’ older. Reckon it’s you gits ‘membered fer buckaroo-ku ‘cause you were the first ta fall outta thet poet-tree a yers.”

“Oof. Sure wish the first time was the last time. Yep, I’ve tried my hand at writin’ but yer the one kin tell some doozies, Pal. D’ya ‘member the valentine prompt? Ya told this one:

It was a long cold winter, lotsa snow. Spring arrived in a rush, swellin’ the rivers with melt water, turnin’ the roads inta oozy mire. The roads were impassable, travel impossible.
Was a lady, Val was her name, got caught up in the flood, afloatin’ on a ice floe, steerin’ with a board till it got tore from her grip. She was helpless, ‘bout ta be crushed in a ice jam. She was up the creek without a paddle but her lover went ta her rescue. He got ta Val in time. ”

“True story, Kid. All a my stories is true.”

“Hmmph. Here, Pal, have anuther beer.”

“Well, mebbe one more. Jist hope I don’t turn inta one a them barstool phil-a-so-fers.”

“Ya are a bit of a philosopher, though, ain’tcha Pal? Shorty give ever’one a prompt ‘bout buttons an’ yer off on one a yer deep musin’s:

Buttons ain’t nuthin, without the buttonhole. Even less without needle an’ thread. Without those, buttons are useless discs, mere baubles. Their usefulness and purpose are dependent on the passage and tension provided by the buttonhole. All folks keep their pants up with the yin and yang of button and buttonhole.”

“Huh. Kid, mebbe I shoulda been the one asettin’ in the think tank.”

“I’d ruther not talk ‘bout that tank, Pal. Back ta you. Ya been here at Carrot Ranch ferever, ya say.”


“Ever git off the ranch, go other places?”

“Only thet one time, an’ thet was jist ta keep an’ eye on you. Ya had us gallavantin’ through three other prompts lookin’ fer Frankie’s missin’ glass eye. What a mish mash. I got no desire ta ever step foot off the ranch agin Kid.”

“Now I’m thinkin’, Pal. Thinkin’ on how ya said ya ain’t from anywheres but right here at the Ranch. Thinkin’ I cain’t figger if yer a part a this place, or if this place is a part a you.”

“I reckon places beget the folks thet live in ‘em. Mold ’em. Shape ‘em.”

“Do places tell stories or is it the people?”

“Reckon it’s both, Kid. But folks has ta work at listenin’. Git thet figgered out, places jist sing with stories. Reckon places shape people an’ words shape space inta a place. An’ Kid, don’t fergit, we got ever’thin’ we need here. Good food, good folks.”


“They’s always food fer thought, heapin’ helpin’s. An’ folks from ‘roun the world ta hep serve it and share in it. It’s a good place Kid.”

“But you said food.”

“Sure, they’s carrots a ev’ry color imaginable, always has been, carrots fer the people.”

“But… is there…”

“Shush Kid, ya made this ‘bout me, so we ain’t goin’ there. Carrots has always been enough. Thinkin’ I’m ‘bout ta end this innerview.”

“Weren’t much of a innerview.”

“Uh huh. Ya want them pants seat patches we talked about? Ya git one more question.”

“Okay. Pal, what’s yer biggest responsibility at Carrot Ranch?”

“Really? Ya have ta ask? Use ta jist injoy ridin’ the range doin’ reg’lar ranch chores, but since you come along I have ta ride with you an’ keep ya outta trouble.”

“No! I don’t need ya ta do that, Pal. I kin make my own way.”

“Hmmf. Thinkin’ we should have a feature ‘bout you an’ all the times ya put the ranch as well as yersef in danger. Might take too long though. Might make it harder ta convince folks thet Carrot Ranch is a safe space.”

“Hmmph. Go ahead! Or… ya could feature my buckaroo-ku…”

“Ehh… Tell ya what, Kid, since ya pointed out thet I was actually the first ta write one a them, let’s prompt anyone thet mighta gotten through this ta try their own hand at thet form, leave it in the comments.”

“Yeah! Uh, what exactly is the proper form a buckaroo-ku?”

“It ain’t often proper but it’s haiku like; ya don’t have ta count syllables, lessin’ ya want ta, but it should be short an’ jist three ta five lines. Kin be ‘bout anythin’, but bonus points fer fixin’ it on weddin’s or funerals.”

“We’re givin’ points?”

“No, not really. Jist frien’ly words a thanks an’ incouragemint.”

“Okay, so leave a buckaroo-ku in the comments. An’ folks, prepare yersefs now fer a second karaoke night at the Saddle Up, ta be posted September 21. ‘Member, the way thet works is ya email us yer song an’ the new an’ improved lyrics ya wrote fer it, kinda like Weird Al Yankovic. It could be Western, or any song ya like but mebbe the lyrics reflect the upcomin’ Rodeo. Thet leaves us with jist a couple a openin’s left fer September, folks. So send us yer songs an’ yer ideas fer showcasin’ yersef. An’ don’t fergit ta buckaroo-ku too!


dust settles at last

western hills herd red hued sky

cracked boots by the door


If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh-ish every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via

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  1. SueSpitulnik


    Two funerals in one week
    One a blessing the other a shock
    Regardless, two new strange holes

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Too real, those holes.
      That’s a tough week, Susan.

    • Norah

      So sorry to hear, Sue.

  2. Doug Jacquier

    Scotsmen prefer to graze
    their highland cattle
    in the now and zen
    with one hand clapping
    It’s a hairy-ku thing.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      This is the best hairy-ku I have ever read. Though to be fair, it is the only hairy-ku I’ve ever read. I did read a zen book about a Scottish golfer, can’t remember the name of it, I’d recommend it highly if I could.
      Thanks for playing here at the Saloon!

  3. Ann Edall Robson

    Rainbow bridge passage
    Support unconditional
    Walks forever beside

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      I like the passage being a rainbow bridge.

    • Norah

      That’s a lovely thought, Ann.

  4. Jules

    Worked with another prompt – title is the link
    (I title everything… even ‘ku)

    apprehended suspects

    couldn’t let the stage go
    bulbous bags Banditos filled
    bandit cash paid good

    all them greenbacks came to naught ~
    lawmen marked up coaches stash


    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’s a wild wild west ‘ku fer sure. Thanks Jules!

  5. Marje @ Kyrosmagica

    Hubby and grown kids all away so this buckaroo-ku came to mind!

    All alone kids gone
    Just me no hubby just books
    Getting writing done!

    • Norah


    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Enjoy your alone time! Thanks for spending some of it in the saloon. (What does that say about you?)

      • Marje @ Kyrosmagica

        Yes I spoke to my mum on the phone today and she said that I don’t like being alone… says I’m too sociable!

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Well we’re glad about that. The Saloon is safe in all ways too so come by often and stay late.

  6. Norah

    It does feel as if Pal has been a part of the Ranch forever. It always comforting to meet up with familiar folks and settle into ‘home’.

  7. Liz H

    A wish of sorts, as one travels life’s passages:

    He holds out his hand
    Groom to the beautiful bride
    Their joy is unmatched

    She sways and bends down
    Particular agate found
    Good sign for the day

    Though not all are here
    Their love shines though heaven’s gate
    Present, their blessing

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That right there’s a sparkly gem. Thank you for sharing.

      • Liz H

        Sure! Thanks!

      • Liz H

        Thanks, Anne!

  8. Norah

    Okay, I’ve come back with a haiku of sorts. Wedding or funeral – you choose.

    Skies sparkle sunshine
    Soft clouds drift casting shadows
    Moods matched perfectly

    • Jules

      For a long time I disliked cemeteries, but there really is some beautiful art as well as history there… In my travels I found out that one of America’s beloved heroes “Daniel Boone” is actually honored in two different resting places in different states!

      • Norah

        Fascinating, Jules. The same Daniel Boone?

      • Jules

        I looked this up (Wiki): “Both the Frankfort Cemetery in Kentucky (Which I visited) and the Old Bryan Farm Old Bryan Farm in Missouri claim to have Boone’s remains.” There’s more info on that Wiki entry under Daniel Boone: Death.

      • Norah

        He was quite a man, I believe. 🙂

      • Jules

        Yes, very active. But he wasn’t portrayed accurately in TV or movies. He was not a tall man, rather more portly and short. And perhaps not as he was portrayed in one painting in the old Frankfort Kentucky courthouse turned museum… to look like Elvis Presley. If you look him up you can see that there is one accurate image of him that was made in his life time.

      • Norah

        I know more of the legend than the man. Perhaps I will look him up. Thanks, Jules.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That’s a tough choice, beautifully presented.

      • Norah

        Thank you.

  9. robbiesinspiration

    A frustrating week
    Work overwhelms my life
    Never be to good

    Ha! I’ve managed to sum up my last five months in this verse, Ms D.

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      Such an efficient form, isn’t it?
      Thank you for sharing your verse with us.


  1. nd 8.24 apprehended suspects 2p – Jules Pens Some Gems… - […] the comments here: Carrot Ranch: Saddle Up Saloon Buckaroo […]

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