Last week while at Mount Vernon, I followed the path out of the woods an came upon George Washington’s Experimental Farm down on the Potomac shore. As I was walking along looking for possible photos, I came upon an intriguing threesome; two oxen and a young lady in period costume trying to brush them.
I commented to the young lady that it looked like she had a fun job and she agreed, “except when Jake is being a jerk like he is now!” Jake is the one with his head down…
It seems that the young lady was trying to brush old Jake, but he wouldn’t let her brush his head, nor as it turned out, would he let her brush his brother, who was behaving like a perfect angel that day. “He won’t let me finish brushing him, and when I try to brush his brother, he throws a fit; he’s so spoiled!”
OK, how can you not laugh at a temperamental ox, an ox with a personality… who knew there was such a thing? I had to ask what she would do if the two of them just decided to head on up the trail; now she’s laughing. “If those two ever decided to do the same thing at the same time, there wouldn’t be much I could do to control 3,000 pounds of oxen,” she replied laughing, “but there isn’t much chance either one will ever decide to do much of anything!”
Come to think of it, I’ve never heard of a smart ox.
Meanwhile, Jake’s brother seems happy enough with the way things are…
Wait a minute, it’s just hit me! Jake has this young woman waiting on him hand and foot, doing just what he wants her to do! Maybe I haven’t given oxen enough credit for intelligence; nobody has ever called me “He Who Must Be Obeyed”!