Collections Blog

Remembering The Late Bill May Of Elk River

“Two Horsepower” by Bill May

Mighty fine tractor there, Pardner.
Two hundred horsepower, you say?
Makes my horses seem sort of shabby,
But they work if I just feed ‘em hay.

Guess two horses would just be two horsepower,
But we haul six tons of feed every day;
Though we stop now and then, for a “breather”
While we admire the sights ‘long the way.

Yes, we love being just part of Nature;
No roaring motors or howling gears;
No exhaust fumes to cause air pollution;
Screaming engines to deafen our ears.

Sixty grand’s the price of your tractor?
That price gives us nightmares and fears;
Our horses grew up in our pasture,
And they grow better with the passing of years.


Yes, the more we work with our horses,
The more they’ll learn to obey;
They’ll start or they’ll stop for our signal,
Given from six rods away.

Your tractor won’t greet you each morning
With a nicker that says, “May I come in?
I’d love to be petted and curried,
And have a scratch on my chin.”

Snow’s never to deep for our horses,
And they’ll start at forty below;
It don’t take mechanics or gas pumps
In order to get ‘em to go.

Yes, your two hundred horsepower’s amazing
But you’ll get no love from such rigs;
Guess I’ll just stay two horsepower,
And keep working with Irish and Jiggs.

(Dedicated to May’s loyal Percheron team, Irish and Jiggs)

Posted by Katie Adams at 10:34