Farmer Rob yoked up Jig and Jolly for the first time today and hitched them to a light farm implement. On their maiden voyage, they responded quickly to the basic commands of the ox drover: “Haw (turn left),” “gee (turn right),” and “whoa (stop).” After a few laps, Farmer Rob was pleased. “Impressive, fellows,” he told the new team.
Jig and Jolly still have some growing to do. They won’t earn the title of “oxen” until they are four years old.
The oxen came with a yoke from Wisconsin that has Farmer Rob intrigued. The metal ring on the yoke is so worn that Rob wonders if perhaps the yoke made its way west hundreds of years ago aboard a working team of pioneer-led oxen.
Then Farmer Rob got to talking yokes with some farm visitors and shared a few interesting nuggets. The word for “yoke” is very similar in many languages, suggesting it’s quite old and has traveled great distances. In ancient Sanskrit, in fact, the word “yoga,” means “yoke” or “union.”