Digital Tradition Mirror

The Ol' Ginny Mine

The Ol' Ginny Mine
(Daisy L. Detrick)

Yep, gold's where you find it.  You betcha that's true
This happened at Alma 'long 'bout eighty-two
Jim Haley'd been prospectin' year after year
From springtime to snow, and it seemed sorta queer

That a gambler from Leadville would grubstake Ol' Jim
To make one more try with the chances so slim
But he did.  Well, the weather warmed up some in May
And Jim headed Ginny up Mosquito Pass way

     Say, you are a tenderfoot now, fer a fac'
     Why, a Jinny's a lazy, low-down lady Jack
     A burro, to tote your bed-blankets and jeans
     Your sow-belly, coffee, flour, baccy, and beans
     Your coffee pot, fryin' pan -- Lord knows what more
     And a diamond hitch holds 'em behind and before

Jim thought Dead Horse Gulch was the likeliest place
But he hunted for weeks without findin' a trace
Of the gold-bearin' quartz vein he hoped would crop out
Like the ones folks in Leadville had gone wild about

Ol' Jim was sure blue, fer it soon would be fall
And he and the gambler had nothin' at all
He prodded the Jinny across a rock ledge
She crowded him over too close to the edge

That was crumblin' because of the frost and the snow
And over they rolled to the slope down below
Where a clump of pines stopped 'em, but they started a slide
That roared down the mountain a hundred yards wide

Not a bone did Jim break, but his head got a rap
That put him to sleep fer a sizeable nap
He woke with a thump in his grizzled ol' head
So stiff and so sore that he wished he was dead

He heard a long bray, and there on the trail
Was Jinny, jes' lazily switchin' her tail
With nary a pack.  Her long ears flapped at Jim
Like the hull thing was funny and the joke was on him

It sure made Jim mad.  He reached out fer a rock
He'd give that wench Jinny one gosh awful sock
He bet she'd remember!  But the rock in his hand
Never stung Jinny's rump as Ol' Jim had planned

In the sunshine the quartz shone with webs of free gold
Those two had uncovered the vein when they rolled
Down the mountain and started the slide.  Jinny knew
And pushed him, Jim said.  I won't say it ain't true

Fer gold's where you find it.  If a burro helps -- fine!
They dug out a lot from that Ol' Jinny mine.

Daisy Detrick was president of the Poetry Society of
     Colorado. Make a tune for it. JN

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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