Stories for My Grandchildren
"The Old Mule"
|Let's see, we were living out in the country on Route 58 about 5 miles from South Boston, VA so I must have been 7 years old. My brother Cliff and I were walking through the neighbor's fields. In those days we were allowed to roam pretty much as we pleased as there weren't many dangers. The world was different then.
Anyhow, we came upon an old jack mule who was standing still just minding his own business. I should have known, even at that age, not to listen to my older brother when he said, "Wally, go up and pat him on the butt." Not refusing a dare or wanting to appear to be chicken, I walked behind the mule and patted him on the butt. It happened so quickly but the next thing I knew I was literally in the barb wired fence that was 6-10 feet behind me. I didn't cry because it was so sudden that I hadn't really realized that the mule had kicked me. All I could hear was Cliff laughing uncontrollably. This was probably the luckiest day in my life as the mule's hoof had caught me square on the right pelvic bone. A few inches in any direction and this wouldn't have ended in a laughing manner.
Trust in my brother's wisdom was slowly diminishing.