Big Brother

There is a reason, I am sure,
For all the things that come
To every little boy or girl
To help or mar their fun.

I know a boy has got to have
A daddy and a mother,
But honestly, I don’t see why
He needs an older brother.

Perhaps you think that I don’t know,
And you may not agree,
But let me tell you of some things
My elder did to me.

One day while we were left alone,
He thought t’would be quite grand
To burn upon my little leg
Some famous cattle brand.

He took a piece of heavy wire
And, much to my distress,
He shaped a brand and called the thing
A Crooked Lazy S.

He built a fire to heat the brand
And got his lasso down.
Then, like a veteran of the trail,
He tied me on the ground.

I cried and bawled and bleated,
I besought him with a beg.
“Oh, please don’t put that red hot iron
On my poor little leg.”

I fought and cried, I kicked and yelled,
Yet all my pleas he spurned.
He stuck that brander to my leg
And watched me as I burned.

Of all the things I’ve ever thought,
Just one will do to say:
“He did a fairly permanent job;
I bear that brand today.”

One day he found an old horseshoe
And said, “Here’s what we’ll do.
We’ll tie it on the clothesline and
I’ll send it down to you.”

“I’ll stand at one end of the line
And you stand at the other.”
I did, because I thought that I
Could trust my older brother.

I’m sure I did just what he said
For, as I stood in wait,
He hurled the horseshoe down the line
And hit me on the pate.

It knocked me down; I writhed in pain.
“I’m sorry,” brother said,
“I didn’t mean to hit so hard,
Especially on the head.”

They rushed me off to Dr. Speer,
Who laid me on a bed
And got his needle out and took
Three stitches in my head.

I know that when I come to die,
If near or if it’s far,
Upon the left side of my dome
I’ll bear that ugly scar.

And when I’m dead and in my box
And he comes marching by,
I hope he’ll see how mean he was
And cry, and cry, and cry.

(Hal’s version of the story.)