American Field

Boys of the Road

By Tom Word | Jun 21, 2019


They are the boys of the road

Driving mile after mile

In their dually rigs

Pulling horses and dogs

Trial to trial


In July they pull north and west

To the prairies

To escape summer heat and

To train and condition

Their hopefuls


On the prairie lands wide

They saddle and ride

After Derbies they hope

Will crave scent of birds

Enough so in fall they might win purses


They are a strange lot

Obsessed with a sport without riches

A sport known to few

But to those few compelling

Based on man’s second primal urge — to hunt


To hunt but not to kill

To find and point

Flush and let fly

While the dog stands stylish

And perfectly still


The boys of the road seek perfection

Though they know it’s beyond dog and man

A dog that does it all without flaw

That hunts a forward pattern unerring

And deep to the extreme but not plum out the front


A dog that’s bold

But listens

That goes to game

In its haunts

With power and grace and then stops



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