July 24, 2010 marks the sixth annual National Day of the Cowboy. Cowboy Day was created by the Nation Day of the Cowboy organization as a way to celebrate and keep alive the cowboy heritage and their contribution to America's western history and culture. Celebrate the rich cultural spirit of cowboys and cowgirls with a collection of books like Back Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story by Julius Lester and other poems from Home on the Range.
Hats off to the Cowboy
by Red Steagall
The city folks think that it's over.
The cowboy has outlived his time-
An old worn-out relic, a thing of the past,
But the truth is, he's still in his prim.
The cowboy's the image of freedom,
The hard-ridin' boss of the range.
His trade is a fair one, he fights for what's right,
and his ethics aren't subject to change.
He still tops his hats to the ladies,
Let's you water first at the pond.
He believes a day's pay is worth a day's work,
And his handshakes and words are his bond.
Janeczko, Paul B. 1997. Home on the Range: Cowboy Poems. Illus. by Bernie Fuchs. NY: Dial Books. ISBN: 0803719116.
Have fun celebrating the cowboy heritage by creating personally designed bandanas created by cutting used, clean bed sheets that are cut into triangles and providing color markers. Invite the children to share what they think about cowboys and what their life is like, and invite them to share it in poem form.