Cut the Rope!
February 2010

“Cut the Rope!” Ensign, Feb. 2010, 66–67

Cut the Rope!

Gerald G. Hodson, Utah, USA

One cold Saturday morning when I was 12, Dad told me to start the tractor so we could take hay to some hungry horses. It was so cold that the tractor turned over only a couple of times before the battery died. When I informed my father, he told me to saddle up Blue and tie our sleigh to the saddle so we could pull a couple bales of hay to the horses to tide them over until we could get the tractor started.

Blue, our thoroughbred studhorse, was in the prime of his life. He was a beautiful, powerful animal. I remember how he pranced around that morning looking for a good ride.

We put two 90-pound (41-kg) bales of hay on the sleigh, Dad mounted Blue, and we were off. I walked behind the sleigh to balance it. We soon arrived at the lane that led us to the winter pasture.

Things went well until we had gone about a third of the way down the lane. The snow had drifted deep, and I could see that it was piling up in front of the sleigh. As the cinch tightened around Blue’s chest, it cut off his ability to breathe. Suddenly he reacted.

Blue whirled around two or three times, trying to relieve the pressure on his chest. Dad quickly tried to dismount but was lashed to the side of the horse in the process. To make matters worse, Blue lost his footing on the ice under the snow, causing him to pitch over on his side, pinning my father beneath him.

As Dad was losing consciousness, he yelled at me to run and get help at Uncle Carl’s place. That meant I would have to crawl through two fences and run across a big pasture before reaching help.

As I turned to go, I heard a voice tell me, “Don’t go. Cut the rope!”

I quickly obeyed, pulling my Boy Scout knife out of my pocket. I cut at the lariat rope for a few moments when, suddenly, Blue lurched to his feet and took off. The rope snapped, and my father rolled out of its coils rather than possibly being dragged to his death. I ran to his side.

Dad came to, got up, and assured me he was all right. We then went to find Blue, cleared the snow from in front of the sleigh, retied the rope, and again headed for the horse pasture. We fed the horses and returned home.

I normally obeyed my father without question, and I was ready to run 10 minutes to my uncle’s place for help. But his help would have come too late. That day, however, the voice of the Spirit came just in time.