An ox is very simply a castrated bovine that has learned some tricks.
In other words, he's the perennial nice guy.
He's the guy who does all the heavy lifting without getting the credit he deserves. He's not all that bright. He's docile and does as he's told. He accepts the beatings without complaint. Steady and solid- he'll work for you until you say stop.
He's the one a girl settles for because she can't tame the stallion she was promised.
She'll sit in the wagon on an established trail with her faithful ox shouldering her baggage. From her seat she can see the horses galloping away in the fields, wandering where their whims take them. The ox will take her where she thinks she's supposed to be.
My notes: So its not exactly an ode. Sorry. I'm not a fan of what the ox represents. And I just found some of my super cheesy high school poetry. Can you tell?
Assignment Notes: 2009 is the Year of the Ox, a beast of burden that occupies very little space in our literary history. Babe the blue ox has pretty much had to hold it down in that world, so help keep him company by writing an ode to the ox. A poem is probably the most fun way to go, but feel free to write in any style you want. Read more about the year of the ox on Wikipedia.