It was a clear but cold and starry night,
The new snow sparkled with reflected light.
They pulled the truck to a stop there on that little hill,
The old man and the kid got out into the quiet and still.
The cattle gathered as if by magic to get their feed,
Crowding around as the bed was unloaded of cake and seed.
Despite hat and boots, the kid was new to ways of the range,
And he was made nervous by this behavior to him strange.
The old man chuckled an' leaned back against the door,
Sayin', "That's jist their way -- nothin' to be concerned for."
"Sides, this is their special night, too -- they remember like we do,
After all, it was their place that the man an' woman came to."
"Their feed that night got used in a special kind o' way,
'Tain't often that a new born gets put up on a bed o'hay."
"It was their heat that kept Him warm that cold night so long ago,
An' it was workin' stockmen that were the first to know."
"So I kind of figure that comin' out here on Christmas Eve,
Is my own way of sayin' thanks for the best gift we can receive."
The old man and boy stood quiet on that cold and starry night,
As contented cows added their blessing to the remembered light.