Accelerated Reader Program Selection
Texas Jack, the jackrabbit, sez that after the Civil War, millions of Longhorn cattle roamed the plains of Texas, and that cowboys would herd the cattle and bring them to markets 1,000 miles to the North.This is what they called a Trail Drive.
Many cowboys would perform special jobs to get the cattle to market safely. Scouts would ride ahead of the herd to look for the best routes to take. Point, swing, flank, and drag riders would keep the herds together and guide them along the trails. The night hawk’s job was to circle the herd and keep it bedded down at night. Sometimes, he would even sing or play the harmonica to keep the herd calm.
The most versatile cowboy was the chuck wagon cook. In addition to cooking two hot meals a day, he also performed the duties of a doctor, barber, dentist, repairman, and sometimes even an entertainer.
The cowboys encountered many dangers along the way. Stampedes at night, which could feel like earthquakes, were the scariest things on the drive. Dust storms, thunderstorms, flash floods, and cattle thieves were some of the other dangers and obstacles that the cowboys had to face. But Texas Jack sez that the cowboys loved what they did and that they would not trade their way of life for anything.