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Josh grabbed the halter’s lead rope just under the bulls chin and held it tight. Both this bull, and the one he’d put in the forward trailer compartment a few minutes earlier, seemed to be as tame as a family dog. Well, not exactly. Their family dog was a border collie that was much more frantic. The pup raced back and forth beside the trailer as if she could help.
He reached the point where the bull had to step into the trailer, and he wasn’t budging. Josh braced his heals against the wooden floor, leaned backward, and heaved with all he had. Nothing like a ton of beef that doesn’t want to be moved. I’ll be damned.
A few minutes later Trent stood panting, his hands braced against his hips as the bull shifted his weight and glanced toward them. Trent cocked an eyebrow as a grin appeared. “Hang loose. I’ve got an idea.”
Josh threw his hands into the air. “And exact what else can we do with a ton of baloney on the hoof that’s decided it will not move?”
Trent did a backward wave as he disappeared into the barns. Josh sat staring at the stubborn animal, thinking about how many burgers he could enjoy. The more frustrating part of the whole mess was the bull’s calm demeanor. He wasn’t afraid or agitated, he just refused to move.
Josh glanced back at the dark doorway Trent had disappeared through and wondered what he was doing. He was close to trying to find Trent when the soft jingle of chains being dragged across concrete came to him. His brows furrowed and then Ben shot through the opening with Noah at his side. The horse was wearing a simple pulling harness. Josh had to grin when Trent appeared, walking a few feet behind the other two.
Noah spotted Josh and gave him a nod as he guided the horse closer. With a click of his tongue, Noah backed the horse up and then turned to Josh with a wide grin.
“I hear you’ve got something big that you want moved. I think Ben and I can help.”
Trent smiled, but said nothing as he threaded the lead rope through the bars of the trailer to Noah. It only took a moments to tie to Ben’s light harness. Noah tapped Ben with the reins and the mammoth horse stepped forward until the rope was tight. With another soft chuck, Noah signaled Ben to pull. He leaned into the task, but nothing was moving.
After a few minutes of tug-of-war Noah scowled and stared at the bull. “What’s the son-of-a-bitch weigh? About a ton?”
Josh looked at the bull for a minute as if he’d never noticed him before and then nodded. “Yeah, about that. He’s the bigger one of the two.”
Noah looked through the trailer side at the bull they’d already loaded. It turned its head to study the man and then with taciturn indifference turned back to eating hay. Noah stepped away and studied the situations for a moment while his jaw knotted and released in a steady rhythm.
A smile that was slightly terrifying crossed his face as his gaze swept the pair. “Hang on. I’ve gotta idea.”
Josh and Trent nodded numbly as the blocky man led Ben back into the barn at a trot. Time stretched before the now recognizable jingle sounded. A second or two later Noah appeared with a pair of horses. But like none he could remember seeing before. These two were ponies, blocky and stout like Ben, but on a different scale. Their shoes were unique too. Cleats covered them and lifted them several inches higher, and raised the noise they made to a whole new level.
Jesse trailed behind, holding the end of a thick logging chain so it wouldn’t tangle with anything. The stout ponies moved with an eagerness that made Josh smile. Noah backed them into position and Jesse fastened them to the end of the bull’s lead rope. The horses braced to the end of the reins, ready to work. When the rope tightened, Noah signaled with a click of his tongue. The ponies lunged forward, almost galloping in place.
This time the obstinate bull had little choice but to move. Inch by grudging inch he leaned forward until a front leg moved and his hoof slammed into thick wooden floor. He glanced back to the pulling pair. They were making progress with each passing second. Another bang brought Josh’s attention back to the trailer where the bull was being slid over the smooth wooden floor. A minute later the bull stepped into the trailer, Trent slammed the gate shut, and Noah rained the ponies to stop.
Once they secured the bull, Josh walked over to where the guys were talking.
“Damn, I didn’t think those little guys could pull like that,” Trent said.
“Oh never doubt the power of a pulling pony. They have more heart and fire than the big horses. But these aren’t guys.” Noah grinned at the pair.
“Oh whatever. So they’re geldings.”
“Nope. Two mature ladies that know all the tricks. They’ve won state a couple of times.” He turned to Trent. “There’s nothing like two fine ladies who agree to work together.”
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