My kingdom for a horse. Well maybe not. There are advantages to mules over horses. Like the reason I am on a twenty-something borrowed mule named Dusty instead of my beautiful pony Pickle. Dusty and his kind are just plain tougher. Pickle is recovering from a torn suspensory tendon and Dusty has probably never taken one lame step in his twenty-plus years.
But Dusty has plenty of quirks as I am finding out. He's not yet that traffic safe, hence my quickly jumping from the saddle a half dozen times yesterday as motorcycles came revving and flying past us. But even a little putt putt motor scooter makes him jump and has me grumbling "come on Dusty!"
That fear of traffic is the big one. He also is a bit of a restless soul. It's always time for the next thing with him. He's always assuming he's getting the short shift over the other two mules. Insisting that they have the better picket spot. Bernie says he will eventually settle. If not I'm the one that's gonna have to settle. Hand us the chill pills.
Yes, mules certainly have personality and some of it is charming. Like Polly sticking her head in the tent to say, "good morning" to us. Even Dusty is pretty damn cute sometimes nickering for food or water or a pat. He's needy but he's also a head down trooper. Mules will work hard in turn for very little. I must remember all Dusty's funky behavior is just him trying to protect himself and his rights as best he knows how.
I still love horses just a little more than mules. I grew up with horses and know how to communicate with them a better. Somehow I will figure out how to let Dusty know that the motorcycles won't hurt him. But as far as the semis that come roaring by, I'm with Dusty. They are terrifying!
The thing I've already figured out about mules is they are pretty wise, especially the older ones..Maybe Dusty will teach me a thing or two.