Do you know Slim the Cowboy, the Hero of the West? He found a rattler by the sofa, bravely beat it up. He saved his friend the sheriff when the local gang got rough, Then drank his campfire coffee from his pewter loving-cup. That’s Slim, in his bandana and fleece vest. Did you see Slim the Cowboy as he galloped into town? He left his mustang Star tied in the stable-yard out back (That stable looks suspiciously like my green baker’s rack), Then sat down at the bar and had a sliced-banana snack. That’s Slim, in small snow-boots of blue and brown. You heard of Slim the Cowboy, the stoic and the sage? He faced the mighty buffalo that thundered through the plain, Defeated all the bandits who attacked the wagon train, Then asked for cookies, got an apple, and did not complain. That’s Slim, who is much older than his age. I’ve found with Slim the Cowboy that what he wants, he gets. He swiped my measuring cups to use for cooking on the fire, He filched my rolling pin to tame a deadly gun-for-hire, Then hid out in the hamper when the danger got too dire. That’s Slim, who raids my kitchen cabinets. I ponder Slim the Cowboy, my half-pint hero son. Why does a boy engage in all the blood-combat he can And surge through unseen struggles until he can hardly stand? He’s training to fight foes he won’t confront till he’s a man. That’s Slim, for whom the battle’s just begun.