Evan was yelling at Vern across the mud hole to stop. The Ox was getting louder and the struggling seemed to make things worse for the ox. Finally Vern heard Evan, with a wave of the arm, Evan motioned to him to stop and come back around on this side. Evan turned and walked to the other horse. Ho loosed the rope and looped it around the saddle horn.
Very deliberately Evan began walking into the mud hole. Evan told Vern to stand by and hold the other horse. Each step took Evan into the ooze. Mud sloping off the boots, sucking sounds and sloshing with each step, soon the ooze was creeping over the boots and Evan was at the water’s edge. With care he was picking his way through the murky water. The ox stood there staring at Evan, a quizzical look. With a soft tone Evan began talking to the beast.
Ker-splash and Evan disappeared in the slop. He came up out of the water sputtering and splashing all over. His hat was floating next to him. Vern was on the edge just rolling and hollering, what happened? As Evan came up out of the water he was almost face to face with the ox. Eye to eye they looked at each other. Evan tried to step back and could only get a half step, there was a small ledge there and he had slipped on it and fell in the hole.
Now he understood why the ox would not come up out of the hole. The ledge was too slippery and it couldn’t get any traction. All the time Vern was a hootin’ and a hollerin’. Evan hollered out at Vern to shut up and listen. Vern shut up but man was there a grin, ear to ear. The ox has to be pulled out a different way Evan noted. Flipping his hat on, water dripping down, Evan slopped around another direction and the mud hole became shallower as he pushed the other direction.
Vern take the horses around to the other side, if we can get him turned to go up this direction he should be able to crawl out. Vern moved the horses around the other side while Evan looped the other rope over the horns. Both horses were side by side on tied onto the ox. Evan gave a command for Vern to give the horses a little tug on the ox. Evan splashed some water on the side of the ox’s head to get him to turn. With a bellow, it shook its head and snorted and began to turn the other way. Water was splashing and Evan was hollering and splashing the ox. With jumps and twists the ox was turning.
Evan hollered out to keep the slack tight in the ropes. The steps were slow and tough but the ox was moving at last. Soon the belly was out of the water and with jumps it was getting closer to the edge. With a shout, Evan said we’re doing it, keep a pulling. Evan was behind the ox shouting encouragement. It was out of the water and in a few steps on dry land. Vern stopped and Evan came up beside him. Need a rest?