It helps if you are CRAZY! – by Carole Mercer

Twenty years ago, I became a cowboy. I always wanted to be a cowboy ever since I was a little girl living in Wyoming. Twenty years ago, at age 39 I became a cowboy. Being a cowboy has nothing to do with twenty years present I now own a tame steer named “Puddles.”

Puddles stands five foot six inches at his back. I cannot see over his back when I am standing next to him. Puddles weighs in at approximately one ton. One ton equals two thousand pounds. I weigh approximately one hundred and forty pounds. Puddles out weighs me by a few pounds.

When Puddles does something naughty you say in a firm voice.

“No! No! Puddles!” and shake a stick at him.

I rode him once when I bought him, but haven’t had the courage to ride him at home. Besides I don’t have a saddle that fits him. I may not find that saddle. I had dreams for Puddles before I bought him. I dreamed of having him dance with my Morgans as I traveled. I dreamed of making all sorts of programs for him to play in. I dreamed big dreams…

I now own an OX. Puddles is not only as big as an OX, but Puddles is an OX. Moving a one-ton OX to a horse expo is a huge undertaking. Puddles takes up two of the spaces in my trailer. I found that space perception on the way home from buying Puddles. Puddles really doesn’t like to stay in stalls. (Just where would he stay at a Horse Expo?) Puddles likes to be able to see where he is. The stalls at the Horse Expos are often canvas temporary tents. Envision a “bull in a china shop.”

Now just what was I thinking several weeks ago when I bought Puddles? I dreamed. I thought! I dared and I did. Puddles is at home with the Dancing Morgans. Puddle’s job will be to stay and keep my other non-dancing mare Birdy Company when I travel with the Dancing Morgans.

Puddles is art. Kinetic art. Come by and feed this gentle giant a cut up apple…he prefers them that way. Give him a scratch on the neck. He loves it. Kick back and watch him eat grass. Enjoy this lovely huge sweet creature for who and what he is. It helps to be crazy in order to be an OX owner.

Puddles continues to grow and grow. He weighs in two thousand five hundred pounds. I cannot keep him. I put out the word that I have a tame steer for sale. I sell him to the perfect owner who wants a tame huge steer for his guests to pet. Puddles is the right guy for the job. He loves to be petted while he gently eats an apple from your hand.

Puddles has been living away at his new home for two years. Puddles is ten years old. Yesterday, I receive a phone call. Puddles is ill and has been put down. He now lies in a in a lovely meadow beneath a huge oak tree.

It helps to be crazy to love an ox.

12 Responses to It helps if you are CRAZY! – by Carole Mercer

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well folks, tell Carole to keep her stories coming, she has not even got to the great ones yet!!! Caroles side kick, Poncho

  2. Carole says:

    Thanks Poncho ! I am just getting warmed up!

  3. Dorothy says:

    Ohhhh! So sad! I could feel the hopes and dreams of perfecting a “performing ox!” act!! And, I could tell how sweet Puddles turned out to be. But, I wasn’t quite ready to hear of his demise!! Almost made me cry. …..Thanks for the great story, Carole. I look forward to reading more!!……Dorothy

  4. Lynda Hamilton says:

    Carole, I love your stories. I too wasn’t ready to hear of Puddle’s demise. I was hoping to see him next time I’m up your way. You have such a way of pulling me into your stories. I feel like I’m there. Can’t wait til you’re here at Del Mar.

  5. Daniel Millard says:

    Oh Carole! I always love to read the things that you write. But Puddles ending was a bit of a shock to me as well… I feel very blessed to have known you personally and to have experienced so many wonderful things out at your ranch. What a TREAT you were then and still are to this very day! LOVE YOU MUCH!


  6. Carole says:

    The purpose of some writing is to shock the reader…Puddle’s death is a shock and cannot be softened. He was a huge creature and when he died he truely left a huge void filled with wonderful memories….Carole

  7. Dr. Dave says:

    Somewhere along my parallel path to Carole’s, I was well on my way to being a two and a half ton geriatric homosapien but I decided I’d better loose 40 pounds instead. Puddles will remain a great reminder of why and as such has left no void but lots of wisdom…may he rest peacefully..

  8. Glenna says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Puddles, the story was very endearing though. I know Carole and can vouch for the crazy cowgirl in her and in me. Thank you for sharing Carole! Your friend, Glenna

  9. Sabine says:

    you will have all memories in you heart.
    It´s hard to lost such a friend.

  10. Peter Sage says:

    I like hearing about the Gentle Giant. I have read stories about Clifford the Big Red Dog to my son, and I was reminded when I read this post.

    Next year is the Year of the Ox in Chinese Astrology. The local parade was hoping for a tame ox to walk through the streets of Jacksonville, Oregon for the New Year’s parade. Seeing this picture of Puddles, and reading the story, I am encouraged to think that with the right ox and the right cowhand the parade can have the mascot it needs.

    Peter Sage
    Medford, Oregon

  11. Leah Young says:

    Hi Carole,

    That is so cool that you trained a steer!I am sorry that he is gone now.At least you will always have all those great memories of him.

  12. horsegirl says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing!

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