- The Saturday Morning
- Vol. 1, No. 1, Whole No.
1, Total pages 1, January 1973
- MY OXEN SITUATION,
- FORCING A CHOICE
BETWEEN UNPLEASANT ALTERNATIVES
- By Peggy Dyment
- Dear Sir:
Further to a letter from Mr. James H. Boyes of Bracebridge in
the January 4th issue of the Gravenhurst News regarding compulsory
snowmobile legislation, I wish to add my name to the list of
Ontarians concerned about this particular "funny money"
scheme. It seems to me that it is completely unreasonable to
tax a snowmobile in the amount of $10.00 for four or five months
use. I feel obliged as a matter of principle, to say that I feel
it is a blatant extortion of more people money to support an
already top-heavy administration and provide more "play
money" for more "give away schemes"--- sort of
a rob Peter to PAY Paul, if you know what I mean, and I think
that you do.
As well, I feel that if I am taxed on my snowmobile, the tax
should go to the property owner where I travel. I don't travel
on the roads, I don't cut fences or destroy trees or make fires
and I only travel on another man's property with his permission.
I just like to get away from people and my snowmobile has provided
for me, access to solitude and serenity.
Be that as it may, my dilemma is neither the tax nor the snowmobile
but rather my oxen Dot and Charlie. You see, I have this elderly
team of oxen who share adjoining stalls with my snowmobile in
the barn, and Charlie who has both insight and foresight feels
that he wants to be licensed too. Dot is not so sure and I'll
get around to her later. Charlie says he uses the roads and feels
he is entitled - even the animals are yelling about their rights.
He doesn't pay much attentions to the road signs, but so far
the Ontario Provincial Police have been very tolerant to him
and he hasn't gotten into too much trouble. Ever since he read
the letter in the Gravenhurst News about the licenses, there
is just no living with him. Last winter he had a bad spell like
that when he first saw the licenses. I finally had to cut an
inch off his horns, because he kept sticking his head through
the bars on his feed box and giving me a jab every time I passed
in front of him. Then he would stare at a knot-hole in the wall
and cross his eyes and bellow. It was a very un-nerving way to
start the day, because i kept getting some sort of a telepathic
message which I associated with Government spending while Charlie
chortled and wheezed in his stall. Anyway, I solved that little
gem myself without too much thought and without having to get
assistance from the Canada Council or the Local Initiatives people.
Mind you, I had to give Charlie an extra turnip for three days
to get him settled down again. I sympathize with Charlie because
he tries to stay abreast of things current, politically and socially.
In fact one could say that Charlie is right in there, or that
he is an alright ox. Dot he-haws and says he is a dummox but
maybe she knows more than we do. He wants a license plate for
his rump - shaped to fit, if you please, and with his initials
on it in brown and white, because he likes colour-co-ordination.
He also feels he should have a couple of flashing red lights
front and back. Since Dot is an ox with a lot of class and she
is already a bit uppitty about her freedom, she says she doesn't
want anything to do with either the lights or the license. She
says the only license she ever signed got her into one awful
mess of trouble. I'm inclined to agree with Dot for somehow,
it just doesn't seem fitting for a female to wear a license or
a red light, doesn't it? Aside from that, Dot says the whole
oxen licensing bit would require an entire new Government department
or supervisors, deputies, assistant supervisors and at least
two people to do the work. hen the tax might even go up as high
as forty dollars, just like Mr. Boyes said.
Now, Dot and Charlie are elderly and just about eligible for
the pension, but they have their pride. They both keep saying
that they did a lot settle the country back in '09 and Charlie
insists that if we idiots in charge to-day would just show a
little horse sense ( I wonder if he intended a pun there ) and
look at things in a more realistic manner, we could come out
of this mess we have made of things without too much permanent
damage. I think perhaps it's time to listen and pay attention
to Charlie and that's y problem. You see I have to live with
Dot and Charlie and sure as guns, if we let him solve the provincial
dilemma, he'll want to do some fool thing like running for the
school board. Dot says he had better be danged careful or he'll
get more than an inch cut off his horns here. Dot says, really,
she doesn't care, he's always done exactly what he wanted to
do anyway in typical male fashion -their young ones are long
ago grown up and gone and none of them were much for higher education.
She says fondly, they all did right well for themselves too,
two in the Federal government, two in the Provincial government
and two at the municipal level, all of them horn polishers.
While I wait for some reader answers to my problem, without
benefit of the Royal Commission, it would seem sensible too keep
the Gravenhurst news away from Charlie. Last time he came across
something he didn't agree with, he ate the paper. I try to see
that he doesn't get the paper until it is a week old because
it makes for calm conditions in the barn. By the time he has
read the paper, pondered and decided what to do it is very often
too late. Meanwhile I'd appreciate the co-operation of the mailman
and the neighbours to see that the paper gets to the house first.
Charlie's a good solid, comfortable ox, but he doesn't have much
style and I just wonder how he would fit into the Davis administration.
I tell you one thing, tho, he's good for a barrel of laughs.
Written in deadly earnest, without prejudice or malice or even
very much thought while sitting in the oat box very late at night
by Mrs. J. N. Dyment, a Sparrow Lake native.
- This uncopyrighted article
may be reproduced, filched, stolen, copied or quoted, in whole
or in part without permission of the author or publisher "her
- Originally printed
by John Dyment, the publisher, at 24 Colborne Street east in
Orillia, Ontario, Canada, at his own expense (because he is the
husband of the author) without any permission, or grants from
any government department or agency. Circulation (if combined
with the Toronto Daily Star) would be a fantastic amount.
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