#smallstories-1

girl-ox-web.jpg

An unlikely spot for teen meltdown: A county fair oxen pull.

She was mayber 16 with a slender build, the young girl led her oxen team out into the ring, her father behind holding hitching rope.

She was struggling -- first from nervousness, then from embarrassment -- to get the team to mind. She swatted, yelled, pushed; the oxen grew more annoyed. Two unsuccessful pulls on the sled, loaded with about 1500 pounds. The oxen, the girl, grew more frenetic.

Suddenly, she yelled: "I KNOW, DAD."

The 3rd time, they pulled the distance. It was still a light load.

Outside the ring, the father said softly: "You have to get them to want to pull."

At the next round, she withdrew.