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"Bull Hyde and Little Peewee" from College Humor

by Ellis Parker Butler
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    Bull Hyde and Little Peewee
  • College Humor (September, 1925)   "Bull Hyde and Little Peewee"   A story. Illustration by Julian Brazelton. Includes photo and short biography of Butler. HARPER seems to list this as "The Famous Oklahoma-Stanford Tug of War" without a particular month in 1925. HARPER also lists Bull Hyde (BH) as a series, but lists only two items published. p 81-82.  [EPBLIB, HARPER]

from College Humor
Bull Hyde and Little Peewee
by Ellis Parker Butler

Among the tales they tell of Bull Hyde and Little Peewee is the one about Bull Hyde's dog Mamie. Bull and Little Peewee were juniors at the University of Oklahoma when Bull got the pup, which was only the size of a kitten then, but Bull fed it on raw beef and in a couple of weeks Mamie was as big as an ox.

She was a wonderful dog, bright green in color, and a sort of international dog -- all sorts of breeds were in her. For years Little Peewee kept discovering new kinds of dog in Mamie, and as fast as he discovered a new strain in her he jotted it down in the black book.

He began on page 103, on the top line of the page, with Newfoundland, and presently he had filled all of pages 103 and 104 and was halfway down page 105, and he hadn't discovered all the kinds of dog Mamie was even then. It must have been this mixture of breeds that made Mamie grow so big. Little Peewee figured that Mamie grew one full dog size for every breed of dog in her makeup, and as he had discovered two hundred and sixty kinds of dog in Mamie by the time he had reached the middle of page 105, she was two hundred and sixty times as big as any ordinary dog. She was considerably bigger than an elephant then, and still growing.

Bull Hyde

There was a lot of complaint about Mamie to the college authorities. She had a long bushy tail, and when she was happy and wagged it the tail set up such a draft in the air that it caused cyclones which swept across Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa, and destroyed towns and villages. Another lot of complaints came from the ranchers, because now and then Mamie would break her leash and run out on the ranches and kill three or four hundred steers playfully. But the last straw was when Mamie ragged her tail against the chapel and knocked the side wall in. Then the President issued a rule that no dogs were to be allowed on the university grounds.

The rule was so evidently aimed at Mamie that Bull Hyde became very angry. He packed up his belongings and put them in a wheelbarrow and he and Little Peewee walked across the plains to Stanford University, out in California, and took up their studies there. There were no rules against dogs at Stanford.

Bull Hyde never said a word about Oklahoma, but the President's dictum still rankled in his bosom, so to speak, and when Oklahoma challenged Stanford to a tug of war Bull Hyde was mighty pleased. There were some exceedingly strong men at Oklahoma then and Stanford was a little reluctant to accept the challenge, but Bull Hyde had Little Peewee go around and urge that the challenge be accepted. So it was accepted, and Bull got himself chosen on the tug-of-war team.

As soon as Oklahoma heard that Bull Hyde was to be on the team it wanted to cancel the game, because it knew Bull was still sore about the Mamie dog affair and knew what an athlete he was. For a month or two there was a lot of backing and filling -- first Oklahoma would and then Oklahoma wouldn't -- but finally Oklahoma agreed to let its challenge stand, provided it could make the rules.

When Stanford received the rules everybody laughed. The rules were to the effect that the tug of war was to be pulled, but that the Oklahoma team should remain at Oklahoma and the Stanford team remain at Stanford. When the Stanford men looked at the map they were amazed; the two universities were almost 1,500 miles apart, but Bull Hyde said it didn't matter to him -- he said he would pull against Oklahoma if Oklahoma was in China.

The outcome was that a stout steel cable was obtained and stretched from Stanford to Oklahoma, and somewhere near Ouray in Colorado a knot was tied in the cable and a mark made.

On the day of the tug everyone on both sides was in fine condition and Bull Hyde never felt finer.

The Stanford team got down and braced their feet and grasped the cable and waited for the word to pull, but just then the Dean rushed out and cried that all the tug-of-war contestants but Bull Hyde had flunked in math and could not pull.

"Never mind!" Bull Hyde said, "I'll pull alone then!"

He braced his feet and set his teeth and gripped the cable hard, and just then the word came by telegraph from Ouray, "Pull!" Bull Hyde pulled. The muscles on his arms and back knotted like ropes and his face turned almost purple with exertion, and Mamie jumped around him barking and cavorting. Little Peewee stood there with the black book in his hand, shouting, "Pull, Bull! Atta boy, Bull!" But the cable did not give an inch. So Bull Hyde took a deep breath and pulled harder than ever.

For full five minutes Bull Hyde pulled, not gaining an inch and not losing an inch, one man against the whole Oklahoma team. Then the Stanford Glee Club came out and sang the Stanford battle songs, but still the cable did not swerve an inch toward Bull. They could see his face grow redder and redder, and his muscles throbbed like a sore tooth, but the cable never budged. Possibly Bull Hyde might have given up if another telegram had not arrived. It was from a graduate of Stanford who happened to be at Norman, Oklahoma, and he wired: "Foul play! Oklahoma's end of the cable is tied to a concrete steel-reinforced pillar, ninety feet square, set one half mile deep into Oklahoma soil."

When Bull Hyde heard this telegram read he set jaws and a glitter came into his eyes.

"Now, just for that I will pull my darn'dest!" he said, and he reached forward and got a new grip on the cable and pulled as no man had ever pulled before.

Then, inch by inch and foot by foot, the cable began to yield and pile up behind Bull Hyde, while Little Peewee jumped and yelled with joy. Bull Hyde pulled until he had eight or ten miles of cable piled up behind him, and then he grinned triumphantly and quit pulling.

"No use," came another telegram from the Stanford man at Norman, Oklahoma, a few minutes later, "concrete pillar holds fast. Strain on cable wonderful but nothing yielding here."

It wasn't until two weeks later that folks discovered what had happened. A San Francisco man who had business at Ouray came back and reported. Bull Hyde had pulled so hard that the entire plain around Ouray had buckled up as Bull pulled Oklahoma toward California, forming what are now known as the Rocky Mountains.

There was quite a little complaining from one person and another because the plains had been squeezed up into mountains that way, and Bull Hyde promised to go over and smooth the mountains down again, but I guess he never got around to it. They were still there the last time I went to California.



Saturday, October 07 at 1:18:00am USA Central
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