Palabras Pintorescas: Alphabet cards created skillfully, but by whom?

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By Editha Bartley

My friends know how unorganized I am, but once in a while I actually discover something that was put where it belonged. This time, Yes­—it does happen... I noticed some folders or something of that nature in a bookshelf totally devoted to children’s books. I must say I don’t get into that bookcase often now because I don’t have small children nearby, in my family now.

This loose folder contained alphabet flash cards, cards given to our kids long a ago. I wish I knew who printed them or who gave them to us. I knew it had to be an interesting guest at and during our dude ranch days. Every letter, small and large caps, is on one side, and the backside is a picture of a rural, ranch event using the letter. “A” shows a black-and- white picture of cows and says “Angus cattle are black animals.”

B shows a cowboy branding a calf and says “A buckaroo needs his boots and brand.”

C has a cowboy roping a calf and says “ Cowboys work cattle in corrals.”

D depicts a dog and says: “A dog helps drive the dogie” and he is chasing a calf.

E says “Ear-tags look like earrings” We have used ear-tags on our cows for years, and many a dude has called them “cow earrings.”

F notes “Fences form a frontier around the farmyard.”

G says “grass is good for grazing” with calves grazing in a pasture.

H notes “Horses help herd the heifers.”

These flash cards weren’t developed by some city slicker, and the pen-and-ink drawings are very accurate. I know any kid, student would enjoy them and I can see kids coloring them, as well. I depicts an Indian cowboy on a horse and says: “Indians can be cowboys, too.”

J has “John packed jerky for his journey” and depicts a small boy walking in the hills with a piece of jerky in his hand and a backpack and hat completing his outfit.

K has “Kelly knots a kerchief around his neck” and he is fully dressed as a cowboy complete with boots hats and a vest.

An L has a well dressed cowboy and notes “Leather leggings are made from livestock hide.

M shows a cowboy shoeing a horse, both beautifully depicted and the caption says “Meat makes a man mighty.” Horse-shoeing is not for the weak.

This is a really true statement, and yes, I have held the halter rope many times for the so necessary horseshoers we have had here at the ranch.

These cards had to be drawn by a cowboy artist and how I wish I knew who that was. Any child would learn from them, and our kids used them as well. They are printed on  8 1/2 by 11 heavy construction paper, so they can be handled by both school kids and grownups. There isn’t room in this column to continue, but guess what... N will lead off next week’s column. And if anyone out there reading this has any idea where and who printed them, I would like to know. Someone needs to be given credit for some very good, educational artwork, I’d say.

Editha Bartley lives in Gascon in Mora County. She may be reached at 454-0563.