Jake the rancher, went one day to fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense,
As he pounded the last staples in and gathered his tools to go,
The temperature had fallen and the snow was beginning to blow.
When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heaviness of heart,
From the sound that the ignition made, he knew it wouldn’t start.
So Jake did what most of us would do if we’d been there,
He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.
As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck,
They found him three days later, froze, in the cab of that old truck.
Jake had been around in his younger days and done his share of roamin’
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked – Why, it looked just like Wyomin’
Oh, there was some differences, of course, but just some minor things,
One place had simply disappeared – the town they call Rock Springs.
The BLM had been shut down and there weren’t no grazin’ fees
And the wind in Rawlins and Cheyenne was now a gentle breeze,
All the Park and Forest Service folks – they didn’t fare so well
They’d all been sent to fight some fire, in a wilderness in Hell.
Though Heaven was a real nice place, Jake had a wondering mind;
So he saddled up and lit a shuck, not know’n what he’d find.
Then one day up in Cody, on a cold October afternoon,
He seen St. Peter coming his way, knew he’d be there soon.
Of all the saints Jake knew in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter.
(This line ain’t really necessary, but it makes a good rhyme and meter.)
So, they set and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three,
Nobody there was keepin’ score – in Heaven time is free.
“I’ve always heard” Jake said to Peter, “that God will answer prayer.
But the one time that I asked for help, well, he just plain wasn’t there.
Does God answer prayers of some and ignore the prayers of others?
That don’t seem exactly square. I know all men are brothers.
Or does he reply randomly, without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe, it’s the time of day, the weather or the season?
I ain’t tryin’ to act smart, it’s jest the way I feel.
And I was wonderin’, could you tell me, Peter, what the heck’s the deal?”
Peter listened patiently and when ol’ Jake was done,
There was a smile of recognition and he said. “Oh, you’re the one,
That day in your truck, it wouldn’t start, and you sent your prayer a-flying
You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us trying.
10,000 angels rushed to check the status of your file.
But, you know, Jake, we hadn’t heard from you in more than jest a while.
And though all prayers of believers are answered, and God ain’t got no quota –
He just didn’t recognize your voice, and started some guy