Ye-Oh Sic' Em

Ye-Oh Sic' Em is a true story about the only cattle stampede in the west that was started by a parrot.

The mural above was painted on the side of a stucco building in downtown Stephenville, Texas by Debra Warr.

The painting is accompanied by a plaque that tells visitors the following story.

"Ye-Oh Sic' Em"

"In the eighteen seventies, some of the north-bound herds of Central Texas passed through Stephenville, Texas.

It wasn't much of a village, and a few fenced-in fields made going around it inconvenient.

There were six or seven log cabins, with shed rooms of rawhide lumber, strung along the trail out from it.

The central and largest structure served as a couthouse. It had a gallery covered with boards made of pine oak.

The liveliest place in town as a saloon, where for two-bits, a purchaser could get a "fair-sized drink" of wagon-yard whisky drawn in a tin cup from a fifty gallon barrel.

Usually a group of cowboys congregated here, but the dogs of the village far outnumbered both inhabitants and visitors.

Dog fights furnished the chief amusement.

The sheriff owned a large parrot that habitually perched on the roof of the courthouse gallery.

It had picked up a considerable vocabulary from the cowboys, including profanity.

It's favorite expression was "Ye-oh, sic'em!", which usually started a dog fight.

One day a herd was stringing through town, shying, but keeping in the middle of the road, when the parrot flapped his wings, gave a cowboy yell, and screeched "Ye-oh, sic'em!"

In a second all the dogs in town charged the steers.

They stampeded, knocked down all the galleries, including the one the parrot was perched on, rammed through the sheds, and even demolished some of the shacks.

Stephenville looked as if a cyclone had struck.

It was the only stampede ever caused by a parrot.

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