The Flyin’ Outlaw


by Curley Fletcher


Come gather ’round me, cowboys,
And listen to me close
Whilst I tells yuh ’bout a mustang
That must uh been a ghost.

Yah mighta heard of a cayuse
In the days they called ’em steed,
That spent his time with eagles
And only come down fer his feed.

He goes by the name of Pegasus,
He has himself wings to fly,
He eats and drinks in the Bad Lands,
And ranges around in the sky.

Seems he belongs to an outfit,
Some sisters, The Muses, they say,
And they always kep ‘im in hobbles
Till he busts ’em and gets away.

Fer years they tries hard to ketch ‘im,
But he keeps right on runnin’ free,
The riders wore way to much clothes then,
Cowboys was knights then, yuh see.

He bears a bad reputation,
I don’t sabe how to begin,
Part eagle, part horse, and a devil,
They claims that he’s meaner than sin.

I’m a-ridin’ that rimrock country
Up there around Wild Horse Springs,
And I like to fell out uh my saddle
When that bronk sails in on his wings.

I feels like I must be plumb crazy,
As I gazes up over a bank,
A-watchin’ that albino mustang
Uh preenin’ his wings as he drank.

Finally he fills up with water,
Wings folded, he starts in to graze,
And I notice he’s headin’ up my way
Where I straddle my horse in a daze.

And then I comes to, all excited,
My hands is a-tremblin’ in hope,
As I reaches down on my saddle
And fumbles a noose in my rope.

Ready, I rides right out at him
Spurrin’ and swingin’ my loop
Before he can turn and get going
I throws – and it fits like a hoop.

I jerks out the slack and I dallies,
I turn and my horse throws him neat,
And he lets out a blood curdlin’ beller
While I’m at him hogtyin’ his feet.

I puts my hackamore on him,
And a pair uh blinds on his eyes,
I hobbles his wings tight together
So he can’t go back to the skies.

I lets him up when he’s saddled,
My cinch is sunk deep in his hide,
I takes the slack out uh my spur straps
‘Cause it looks like a pretty tough ride.

I crawls him just like he was gentle,
I’m a little bit nervous, you bet,
I feels pretty sure I can ride ‘im,
I still has his wings hobbled yet.

I raises the blinds and he’s snortin’,
Then moves like he’s walkin’ on eggs,
He grunts and explodes like a pistol,
I see he’s at home on his legs.

Wolves, and panthers, and grizzlies,
Centipedes, triantlers, and such,
Scorpions, snakes, and bad whiskey
Compared to him wasn’t much.

I got a deep seat in the saddle
And my spurs both bogged in the cinch,
I don’t aim to take any chances,
I won’t let him budge an inch.

He acts like he’s plumb full uh loco,
Just ain’t got a lick uh sense,
He’s a weavin’ and buckin’ so crooked
That I thinks of an Arkansaw fence.

I’m ridin’ my best and I’m busy
And troubled a-keepin’ my seat,
He didn’t need wings fer flyin’,
He’s handy enough on his feet.

He’s got me half blind and I weaken,
He’s buckin’ around in big rings,
Besides which he kep me a-guessin’,
A-duckin’ and dodgin’ his wings.

By golly he starts gettin’ rougher,
He’s spinnin’ and sunfishin’, too,
I grabs me both hands full uh leather,
I’m weary and wishin’ he’s through.

He hits on the ground with a twister
That broke the wing hobbles, right there,
Before I can let loose and quit him,
We’re sailin’ away in the air.

He smoothes out and keeps on a climbin’
Till away down, miles below,
I gets me a look at the mountains
And the peaks all covered with snow.

Up through the clouds, I’m a-freezin’,
Plumb scared and I’m dizzy to boot,
I sure was a-wishin’ I had me
That thing called a parachute.

And then I musta gone loco,
Or maybe I goes sound asleep,
‘Cause when I wakes up I’m a-layin’
Right down on the ground in a heap.

He may uh had wings like an angel,
And he may uh been light on his feet,
But he oughta had horns like the devil
And a mouth fit fer eatin’ raw meat.

I’ve lost a good saddle and bridle,
My rope and some other good things,
But I’m sure glad to be here to tell yuh
To stay off uh horses with wings.


Curley Fletcher was an American composer of cowboy songs and poetry.  He is best remembered for the classic cowboy song “The Strawberry Roan,” written in 1915, and for his book, Songs of the Sage, originally published in 1931.



Pegasus by Daniel Eskridge



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