Collected by Marvin Wallace For Mary C. Parler Transcribed by Frances Majors
August 19, 1958
Sung by Buck Buttery Lincoln, Arkansas
Reel 281, Item 15
The Zebra Dun
We were camped upon the plains At the head of the Cimmarron, When along come a stranger,
And he stopped to argue some. Looked so very foolish We began to look around;
We thought he was a greenhorn Who was just escaped from town.
Asked if he'd had his breakfast, And he hadn't had a smear;
So we opened up our chuck box And bade him have his share.
He took a cup of coffee,
Some bisbuits and some beans;
And then began to talk and tell About foreign kings and queens;
About the Spanish War A-fighting on the seas,
With guns as big as steers And ramrods big as trees;
About Paul Jones Being a fighting son-of-a-gun, Who was the grittiest cuss Who ever pulled a gun.
Such an educated fellow,
His thoughts just came in herds; He astonished all the cowboys With those jaw-breaking words. He just kept on talking Till he made the boys all sick; They begin to look around Just how to play a trick.
He said he'd lost his job Upon the Santa Fe;
He was going across the plains To track the Seven-D.
He didn't say how come it,
Just some trouble with the boss, But he said he'd like to borrow A new, fat saddle hoss.The Zebra Dun (Cont'd)
Reel 281, Item 15 (Cont'd)
This tickled all the boys to death; They laughed down in their sleeves. "We'll lend you a horse,
Just as fresh and fat as you please." Shorty grabbed the lariat And roped old Zebra Bun,
Turned him over to the stranger,
And he waited for the fun.
Old Bunny was an outlaw
That had grown to be awful wild;
He'd paw the white of the moon When he got riled.
Old Bunny stood right still,
As if he didn't know,
Until he was saddled And ready for to go.
When the stranger hit the saddle,
Old Bunny quit the earth;
He traveled right straight up For all that he was worth,
A-pitching and a-squealing And a-having wall-eyed fits,
His hind feet perpendicular,
His front ones in the bits.
We could see the tops of mountains Under Dunny ever' jump,
But the stranger he sat on him Just like the camel's hump.
The stranger sat upon him And curled his black mustache,
Just like a summer boarder Awaiting for his hash.
He thumbed him on the shoulders,
And he spurred him when he whirled To show those flunky punchers He was wolf of the world.
When the stranger had dismounted Once more upon the ground,
We knew he was a thoroughbred And not a gent from town.The Zebra Dun (Cont'd)
Reel 281, Item 15 (Cont'd).
The boss, who was standing by A-looking at the show,
He walked right up to the stranger,
And he said, "You needn't go.
If you can use the lasso Like you rode old Zebra Bun,
You're the man I've been a-looking for Ever since the year of one."
When the herd stampeded He was always on the spot;
He could set those steers to milling Like the boiling of a pot.
There's one sure thing I've learned, I've learned since I've been born: Ever' educated fellow Ain't a plumb greenhorn.
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