Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ox Team, Wharf at Matinicus

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Smart and Clever Cows and Oxen Pump Water for Themselves in India

So, is this animal instinct? And are humans (and apes) still the only ones who use tools? Actually, since the claim that tool use was unique to human beings many other species have been documented as tool users.

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Ox Working a Water Pump, India

I came across this video of an ox pumping water for itself, and remembered the below clipping I'd saved of a cow reportedly doing the same --- way back in the 1800's.

A Cow Working a Pump
Chatterbox Stories of Natural History

Copyright 1880
R. Worthington

My informant writes me as follows: “We have a wonderful cow here—about ten years old, and very clever at opening gates and breaking fences. There is an Abyssinnian pump about three feet high in the center of the field, near my house, over a trough, which is, or ought to be, filled daily. It was on a hot day, when my man had omitted to pump the trough full, that the cow was first observed to help herself: the way in which she managed to pump was by pushing the handle up with her head and then forcing it down with her horns. Very little elevation of the handle is required to get water, and she would work it for five minutes together, and sometimes drank from the spout, and sometimes from the trough.”

Sunday, July 24, 2011

On the Ethics of Training an Ox

"But, my dear, my dear...."
Artist: Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882
unfinished painting
“What of the ox that loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant beings?”

Poet: Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931
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Olly, Olly Oxen Free!

Perhaps the lad has found one of his father's oxen, and is now 
calling for the other one, who is hiding behind a bush, "Ollie! Ollie!"
Or, perhaps he has found this oxen so worthless he is calling out,
"All ye, All ye, oxen free! 
Artwork by
Dutch Artist Adriaen van de Velde 1636-1672
What does the children's game hide-and-seek have to do with oxen? Not very much it turns out. When playing hide-and-seek children often call out "Olly, Olly Oxen Free." That means that anyone who is still hidden can come out from hiding to regroup for a new game. There are two versions on the origin of the phrase that sound plausible. The first is English, "All ye, all ye outs-in free." There is a very similar phrase in German, "Alle, alle auch sind frei" that translates all, all are free also.

Kids, like the rest of us, often use words or phrases without understanding their true meaning. The hypothesis is that "outs-in" or "auch sind" got changed to "oxen" which is a word English speaking kids would be familiar with.

The game hide-and-seek is at least four centuries old according to one source. My guess is that it's as old as man and womankind. I'm pretty sure it even predates the use of oxen!

What's your take on a possible original meaning of the phrase Olly, Olly Oxen Free?
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Making a Nova Scotian Style Head Yoke for Oxen

These three videos were produced by Charing Cross Production in cooperation with Ross Farm Museum, the videos were created to show  Roy Levy, a grandfather, passing on the skill of yoke making to his grandson Brandon. Watch as they work together to create a yoke. These videos are links to Ross Farm Museum's YouTube Channel.

Storybrookeripples:ox and dog blog has no affiliation with Ross Farm Museum and holds no rights to these videos or their content. Special thanks to Brandon and Roy Levy for sharing their skills, and to Ross Farm Museum and Charing Cross Production for making this possible.

 Ross Farm Museum is a living, working, farm museum depicting 150 years of agriculture in Nova Scotia.  Ross Farm Museum is still being farmed with Oxen, the way it was in the late 1800's

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ox Cart Girl In Bonnet and Dress

My granddaughter in period costume takes the reins of the ox. The cart is a "Sulky," or alternatively, a  "Studcart." 
Music: Din Din Wo, Habib Koité, Bamada, From the Album Muso Ko

Remember this picture from June 14, 2010? Compare the carts and kids, separated by over one-hundred years and 1500 miles.

5-year old boy in ox cart.
NewYork State about 1900.
an Ervin Davis photo

4-year old girl in ox cart
Minnesota, 2011
You've come a long way baby!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Scout the Ox's Next Ox Yoke?

I've got my sights on this Ash log for my next ox yoke. It's probably Green Ash though I'm not certain.That's the youngest of my three grandchildren posing beside it. The Ash tree was cut over a year ago by my son-in-law who does tree trimming and removal.
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