Mother’s Day Branding |

Mother’s Day Branding

Mother's Day. Branding. Two events that happen in the spring are bound to fall on the same day once in a while. With a dose of humor, Yvonne Hollenbeck points out that ranch women USUALLY take it all in stride. Photo by Roxie Fox

Mother’s Day is a special day for women, and whether or not you are a mother, we all are blessed to have one. We usually set this day aside to do something special for other women, even if it is a favorite aunt, neighbor lady, or someone we barely know that may be in need of a little extra attention. It does not matter whether you live in a city or in a rural area, this is a day revered by women nationwide.

Although Mother’s Day, like other holidays, has become a major commercial event, a lot of kind deeds are shown that cost nothing but a little time, and are usually the best gifts one can give. A lot of poetry has been written about mothers and Mother’s Day, and I too have penned a few rhymes about this national holiday.

A few years ago I received a call from Harley Furrey, an area rancher, suggesting I write a poem about folks who hold their annual branding on Mother’s Day. I sensed there was a reason behind his idea and judging from my own experience, wrote the following poem:


Oh blessed is the lady, who invented Mother’s Day;

time to show our gratitude in a kind and thoughtful way.

But, why does it have to be the same Sunday every May?

Because that’s the day our neighbor has his annual branding day.

Of course, one has to help, that’s what all good neighbors do;

but it upsets this little wife and puts me in a stew.

Every year I tell my spouse, “You shouldn’t go at all!”

But this neighbor always helps us with our roundup in the fall.

As he tries to make excuses, it only makes things worse;

he invited me to go along, but that made me want to curse.

He said, “A day for us together is something we both need,

and you can help the wife with all the men she has to feed!”

That didn’t help my mood one bit, he should have stopped right there.

I had lost my sense of humor, and a chill had filled the air

when he told me that he cared for me more than any other,

but I should not be upset because I am not his mother.

So, next month when it’s Father’s Day I told him I’d be gone

and I hoped that he’d feel awful when he spends the day alone.

But when I thought I’d won the war, he winked and said to me,

“There’s a roping up at Ft. Pierre, and that’s where I’ll probably be.”

He said he’d smooth things over and he’d take me out to dine;

…a sale barn bar-b-que tomorrow noon at Valentine.

He told me that I’m still his gal and that should pave the way

till next year when the neighbor has his branding Mother’s Day.

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