by Long Rider Jayme Feary
In their time, the Abernathy boys
Were known about far and wide
For their horseback expeditions
Two brothers who rode side by side.
In 1909 to the Federal Marshall
Of the Oklahoma Territory:
“Dad, may we ride Santa Fe
For fun and some new sites to see?”
After much thought and pondering
He saw his boys’ minds were set.
But if he stayed quiet, they would too;
In a few days they’d forget.
But forget, no way; them boys were primed.
They had an adventure on their minds.
Little did they know, that once finished
Fame was what they’d find.
From Oklahoma City, all the way
To Roswell then Santa Fe,
Across tough country and Comanche lands,
Danger and adventure along the way.
Who believed that they’d survive,
And let alone arrive?
Two brothers riding 1,300 miles
One age eight and the other five.
The next year the boys decided to ride
To see ex-President Roosevelt
To say hello and tell him
How real Rough Riders felt.
From Oklahoma City to Washington, D.C.
Then on for a Big Apple bite
Bud on his sorrel gelding Sam
And Sam on his Geronimo white.
In Washington they visited President Taft
And rode onward to New York,
Where Teddy Roosevelt waited for them
To salute them for their work.
People gawked and mumbled,
“Are these kids really them,
The boys who rode across this land
Risking both life and limb?”
Who would’ve thought they’d make it so far
Oklahoma to New York - two hicks
Two brothers - buddies - riding 2,000 miles
One age nine and the other six.
No time to ride home, they left their horses
In New York until the next year
They bought a car and drove back home,
Hastening the automobile frontier.
The next year they returned to New York
To fetch their ponies home.
But before heading back, they took one more ride
From New York to Califor-ni-o.
They saddled up, and cinched ‘em down
And lit out like the wind.
Two little boys heading east to west
With horses as best friends.
When people saw them, they oo-ed and ah-ed,
They prayed the boys wouldn’t fail
They touched Bud and Temple, took souvenirs
Of hair pulled from the ponies’ tails.
Who imagined that they’d arrive
With horses’ engines revvin’
Two country bumpkins after 3,800 miles
One age ten and other seven.
Those boys still hold the record
For a cross-country trip on a horse
It stands right firm at sixty-two days
And will never be broken, of course.
So I raise my glass to the Abernathy Boys
And their feats that are hard to believe,
Two boys too young to know about limits
And what they weren’t supposed to achieve.
In Heaven today, they must be traveling
On their ponies with feathered wings,
Arriving at each and every new star
As God smiles and the angels sing.
-- Long live the memory of Bud and Temple Abernathy, young equestrian heroes.