Digital Tradition Mirror

Pattonio, the Pride of the Plain

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Pattonio, the Pride of the Plain

As you look at the picture that hangs on the wall
As you look at the arrow that hangs by its side,
You will say, "Tell a story, "  you know there is one, "
Of a horse called Pattonio." The story's begun.

His hair, like a lady's, was glossy and fine,
He was reckless and proud but gentle and kind
His arched neck was covered with a dark, flowing mane
And they called him Pattonio, the pride of the plain.

The country was new and the settlers were scarce
The Indians on the war path were savage and fierce
Though scouts were sent out every day from the fort
Yet they never came back so we knew they were lost.

One day the captain said, "Fellows, someone must go
Across the dark borders of New Mexico."
A dozen young fellows straightway answered, "Here!"
But the captain spied me, I was standing quite near.

Pattonio was near me, his nose in my hand
Said the captain, "Your horse is the best in the land,
You're good for the ride, you're the lightest man here
On the back of that mustang you have nothing to fear."

Then, proud of my pony, I answered, "You know
Pattonio and I are both willing to go.
For speed and endurance I'II trust in my black
So they all shook my hand and I mounted his back.

Turned down the dark pathway, turned his head to the right
The black struck a trot and he kept it all night
When far back behind me I heard a shrill yell
And I knew that the redskins were right on my trail.

I reached down and jingled the bells on Pat's reins,
I spoke to Pattonio, I called him by name;
Pattonio then answered with a nod of his head
And his dark body lengthened and onward we sped.

We were leaving the redskins, the storv was plain
The arrows fell round us like hail and like rain,
Pattonio, he stumbled, I knew he was hurt,
But still he dashed onward and into the fort.

I delivered the message, then tried to dismount
But a pain in my foot was so bad I could not.
By good care and patience Pat and I soon were well
Of his death many years after I will not try to tell

As you look at the arrow that hangs on the wall
It went through my foot, saddle, stirrup, and all
On many fine horses I've since held the rein
But none like Pattonio, the pride of the plain.

From Cowboy and Western Songs, Fife and Fife
DT #708
Laws B12

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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