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The Bell Ox

In the early days, Mr. C. Brooks kept a herd of cattle for which he had but very little pasture. In Bucke, fire had gone through the rough land near the lake, and berry bushes, and other cattle food had grown on the burnt ground. Mr. Brook's cattle soon found this out, and every morning they took the trail for the Bucke slashing. The trail led to the river below the saw mill. When the cattle reached the river they plunged in, and swam over.
There were two oxen in the herd, one was blind, and the other carried the bell. The blind ox was careful to keep within hearing distance of the bell. When the bell ox was perfectly still, the blind ox did not move.
On one occasion, Mr. A.A. McKelvie says, the bell ox played a mean practical joke on the blind ox. When the cattle came to the river one evening on their return from the pasture, the bell ox being in a playful mood, kept as quiet as a mouse, and the blind fellow stood still for a considerable time, listening for his mate, and finally plunging into the river, but instead of going direct across, he went down the stream, and was well on the way to Quebec when he heard the bell, and got his bearings.
We can vouch for the accuracy of the foregoing, because, in the first place, we have seen the cattle crossing the stream as stated, and in the next place, Mr. McKelvie was an eye witness of the practical joke referred to.
Temiskaming Speaker
January 31, 1910