CLINTON, Mo. (from KSHB-TV, Kansas City) -

One man is being applauded for a rescue mission during the bitter cold.  He saved the lives of some cows who fell into a frozen pond.

"We drove past a pond and we thought it had beavers or otters or something playing on it, 'cause there was these black things.  So we stopped and and actually backed up so we could see and that's when we realized it was four cows that had fallen through the ice," said Mike Elder.

Elder knew, if he didn't act fast, the cows would soon be nothing more than a few thousand pounds of frozen beef, so he raced home for a rope.  He tied it off with a sailing knot and started pulling the cows out, one by one.

"I made a couple loops 'cause it kind of helped them keep their head up anyway, 'cause they were kind of slipping in and out of the water a little bit," said Elder.

This professional cake chef hauled the calves toward shore for more than two hours.

"It is not something that I ever considered myself doing.  I was there in my dress shoes.  I was not dressed for it.  I had a pair of gloves that had the tech fingers on them," Elder said.

Prepared or not, Elder saved three of the cows from a watery grave, while his children cheered him on.  Elder and his kids covered the cows with hay to keep them warm.  He says the farmer who owns the three told him they are now doing fine.