Behind the Grindstone: Pablo's Christmas


By Bill Bunting

December 22, 2021

The bunkhouse was full
‘Cause the trail was snowed in
Things were right tense
And patience ran thin

A couple of fist fights
Had broke out that night
The boys were all edgy
All wantin’ to fight

‘Cause it was Christmas Eve
And the snow still came down
There just weren’t any way
The boys were gonna make it to town

When I heard a noise
Up there on the roof
Was it the sound of a paw
Or the sound of a hoof

So I lit me a lantern
So I’d have me some light
Pulled my old pistol
And stepped in the night

Well the boys they all followed
As quick as could be
Their guns were all ready
For what they would see

A voice says “Amigo
Please do not shoot”
And there was ‘ole Pablo
In his red union suit

His sombrero pulled down tight
His boots on his feet
To cut down the draft
He’s buttoned the seat

He had no reindeer
Not even a sled
But he had a pack on his back
Just like the story had said

And he danced and he pranced
There in the moonlight
And I’m tellin’ you boys
It was shore quite a sight

And the boys they all laughed
Till they rolled in the snow
‘Cause Pablo put on
One heck of a show

“I’ll use the door”
He said with a wink
“The chimney’s too hot
And smokey I theenk”

So he slid off the roof
With his pack on his back
And fell flat in the snow
In front of the shack

As he stumbled through the door
And brushed off the snow
Just what he was up to
We sure didn’t know

Then he opened his pack
And spread it aroun’
All the goodies he’d hid
From his last trip to town

Why there was popcorn and apples
And peanuts galore
Dried fruit, hard candy
Nuts and much more

Buck got out his fiddle
And was tappin’ his toes
And the smell of fresh popcorn
From the stove soon arose

As the smell of fresh popcorn
Filled the night air
Pablo says “I’ve a story
I’d shore like to share”

He says “I was born in a land
Where there wern’t any snow
Way down south
In ‘ole Mexico”

“But Christmas it comes
The same time of year
And we celebrate it much
As you gringos up here”

“We celebrate
A special birth
When Jesus de Christo
Was born here on earth”

“You see a senorita named Mary
And a hombre Jose
Were holed up
In a barn on this day”

“And the pains they had started
And when they were done
She had gave birth
To God’s only son”

“And there were burros and sheep
In the barn on that night
While out on the prairie
Were angels of light”

“There were sheep herders out there
Tending their sheep
All rolled in their bedrolls
Deep on their sleep”

“When the dogs started barking
Some started to howl
They jumped out of their bedrolls
To see what’s on the prowl”

“Some thought it a wolf
Or maybe a cat
It was some kinda varmint
They were all sure of that”

“Then they heard singing
Up there in the skies
And angels appeared
Right before their own eyes”

“And they sang of a baby
And of peace and of joy
The sheep herders say
We got to find us that boy”

“And they find the baby
Just like the angel say
Jesus de Christo
Asleep on the hay”

“And the wise men they seek him
From some far away land
They bring mucho presents
Some pequeno some grand”

“Many years they have passed
What else can I say
After all of these years
Wise men still seek him today”

At least, that’s the view here from behind the grindstone.

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