Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell’s life.
Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.
I’d started walking in my sleep, one summer, every night. At twelve years old I
must have looked, to some, the strangest sight.
The year was 1965, back in the Yellowstone. We’d rode in on the horses and
were darn sure all alone.
My father was the guide in charge. He understood my plight. He told the men,
“We gotta keep him in his tent all night.”
He said, “We’ll tie a rope, around his tent, then hang a bell. And if he tries to
sleepwalk, that old noisy bell will tell.”
The cowboys also pitched their tents in front of my tent door. For sure there
weren’t no way I’d do a sleeping walk explore.
That night, right after dinner, when the horses were all fed. I zipped my tent,
then climbed into my homemade sleeping bed.
I could hear one cowboy snoring loud. I must have closed my eyes. Then woke
up feeling chilly to one heck of a surprise.
I stood out by the river only wearing underwear. I’d walked out in my sleep and
wondered how did I get there?
I must have cut the tent rope. Had my pocketknife in hand. I took a step and
promptly made a faceplant in the sand.
No flashlight made it darker than the inside of a cat. I figured camp was close and
hoped to hear some cowboy chat.
But the night was dark and quiet, so I sat till first daylight. Then eyed my tent and
sleeping bag, a heaven’s welcome sight.
My sleeping bag was toasty warm. I hadn’t closed my eyes. When I heard one
cowboy holler, “People die in bed you guys!”
I didn’t tell a single soul about my frightful night. But I slept with Dad’s old
flashlight taped around me nice and tight.