Some Belated Praise to a Truly American Hero: the Mule

Updated on February 7, 2018
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

I have to purge my conscience. For years now, I have purposely taken one of life's most-important creatures. No, I am not referring to Loni Anderson, Dawn "Mary Ann" Wells or Paul McCartney. I am going to shock you with whom I am talking about: the mule. That's right. The mule, oh how I have walked by you in a farmer's pasture and not waving at you and what's worse, not taking the time to give you a handful of freshly-cut grass that I know you loved. I am guilty. So guilty. It is only by the grace of God that I haven't had a mental breakdown.

The Grey Mule is such a noble animal.
The Grey Mule is such a noble animal. | Source

Let's Begin With What is

a mule? A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two F1 Hybrids (first generation hybrids) between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny, which is the offspring of a female donkey (jenny) and a male horse (stallion). Aren't you happy (right now) to be able to read such exciting facts and know that in an hour or so, you will be smarter.

Mules have been around since mankind. I am very sure that when Jesus walked and preached, He might have rode such an animal for I can tell you, a mule is a lot more sturdy than any manufactured pickup-truck. The mule eats a steady diet or oats, corn, fresh grass and never bellyaches. He is grateful for his master who loves and feeds him. The relationship between a mule and his owner is a very special relationship. Indeed. The mule's owner might marry and divorce lots of girls, but the mule's owner will have only one mule.

A mule, and you can check me out on this, is more faithful than any St. Bernard with or without the wooden barrel of brandy tied around his neck. You can whistle for your lap dog and he or she might be stubborn and not come to you right away, but you whistle for your mule and by gum , that mule is there standing by fence in its place--never complaining about anything. You cannot make this claim about birds, cats, or camels. A mule knows his master and is obedient to him or her.

The RCA Victor Co., made a huge mistake in their ad motto: "listening to the master's voice," where a dog is listening through a huge victrola horn-speaker, but to me, it would have made a world of sense to have a mule listening to his master's voice instead of the cute dog. I will go on record to tell the world today that if the RCA Victor Co., started out as fledgling electronics corporation, the advertising agency would be quick to change the cute dog to a mule in RCAs advertising.

And while I am unearthing more negligence, the hit program, Death Valley Days, was sponsored by 20-Mule Team Borax (detergent)--the mules should have gotten top billing, but no! Famous Hollywood actor, Ronald Regan stepped in and took over leaving the hard-working mules out in the cold. So to speak.

I suppose I should not be so vocal about how rudely the humble mule has been treated, or mistreated in this case. Walt Disney Productions presented "Gus, The Field Goal Kicking Mule," that also featured Don Knotts in a co-starring role. I should sit down (like I am now) and write a lengthy letter to the CEO of Walt Disney, Robert Iger, and go into thorough detail about how Walt Disney should be making more mule movies in 2018--such sweet movies as: "Son of Gus, Hero of Green Peace," and "Gus, Field Goal Kicking Mule Saves New York," just a couple of examples.

I would like to acknowledge a major film presentation in 1970 with "Two Mules For Sister Sara," starring Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine, but again, the mules didn't have a braying dialogue or top billing in the film's credits. The Hollywood Powers-That-Be just didn't get it! This film would have hit the roof if the (two mules) had been given more credit.

I strongly believe that mules should be equal to the eagle when discussions about Which is More Important, The Eagle or Mule, and that question has been asked and answered here by yours truly without any apology. The mule is not going to besmirch the image of America and our freedoms, if anything, the mule will enhance a nation that has built a country by two strong hands by men and women and four sure feet by the mule. Amen?

And while I am at it, what about those thousands of selfless mules who carried American soldiers during WWI? Why didn't President Woodrow Wilson give these hard-working animals a Congressional Medal of Service? I am totally-serious. This, to me, if a major oversight and I think that President Trump needs to be told how important the mule is to America and our way of life. I will bet you as high as $50 bucks that mules were sure important during the digging of the Panama Canal, yes, sir. And I would win, so lay down your scratch.

I also would like to address just how neglected our mules have become. Someway, some how, I think that dog and cat owners got together in the cover of darkness and did a huge vocal campaign to get folks talking about dogs and cats and forget the humble mule. I cannot think of any other reason except for these pet owners might have gotten jealous when the lowly mule was given some credit. I wish that I had a handful of eager Americans to band with me and help me write a well-crafted letter to President Trump and Paul Ryan, Speaker of The House and I would nominate one of my followers to go before Congress and testify about what "we" Mule Lovers are wanting to do. Yes! That is how we can get the mule on the lips of all Americans. Get before Congress and think of the attention and coverage by C-SPAN, CNN, and all of the major networks. Man, what an idea.

We could even propose before Congress to set aside a special postal stamp to honor the Mule. Can you just picture it? I can. And by gum, it needs to be done. It would surely be a collector's item before it is sold out. Come on, America. Let's talk about mules. Let's think about mules. We owe it to them.

And when we, the Mule Lovers of America, the MLA, get through with the American public, the Clydesdales will hang their heads in shame for not stepping aside to let the American Mule and a fellow Mule pull the Budweiser wagon. Yeah. I would love for one of my followers to accompany our Two Mules that we have chosen to represent the mule during Super Bowl LIII. The mule could be ridden by you, the follower we will choose to wave at the crowd and get more attention for the mule. What a great day for America and the mule.

Stand aside, Tom Brady, here we come. (1976 film)

 A day off  Mules leisurely enjoying sun and snow.
A day off Mules leisurely enjoying sun and snow. | Source

© 2018 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Robin -- thank you for your wish and I made myself a promise eight years ago this coming June, when I first got oon HubPages, that I would reply to my followers in the very best way that was possible.

      I enjoy your comments and support.

      I will sneak into your area (HubPages page, not literally LOL) and read your materials.


      Keep in touch with ME.

    • RobinReenters profile image

      Robin Carretti 

      2 years ago from Hightstown

      Have a nice day thanks for replying back

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Greetings, Liz -- now that is a good one. Maude, the promiscuous one. Haw! Haw!

      Thanks for the laugh and comment.

      I need to ask you something: When I comment, then hit Send, and doesn't my comment supposed to disappear when I Refresh?

      I've asked HP several times and they say they are working on it.

      See what you find out, my friend.

      Write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Robin -- I see. Clint and Shirley making the rules. You are onto something here, my dear friend.

      Stay in touch and thank you for the comment.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, mgt28 -- you are so right in the genetical make-up of mules. I shall keep that in mind.

      I appreciate your input.

      Have a safe night.

      Write anytime.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      LOL! You had me in stitches!

      And, BTW, as I understand it, mules are sterile, and cannot reproduce by mating with each other; so there never would be any F2 generation...I could be wrong, but that's what I've always heard.

      The reason I was laughing, is one of my dad's stories. In his bachelor days, he spent some time as a fire lookout in the mountains of northern California. He would be there day and night for a 2-week stint before the relief lookout arrived for another 2 weeks.

      He traveled to that remote area riding a horse and leading a pack mule. Dude, and Maude, respectively. One day, he caught Maude about to lie down and roll over with her pack on! He yelled her name loudly, and she stopped and continued obediently to the destination.

      Come to think of it, given the name, I guess that was a 'she,' and hence a 'hinny.' Either that, or the person who named her had a warped sense of humor.

      Then, there is the verse by Ogden Nash; "In the world of mules, there are no rules."


    • RobinReenters profile image

      Robin Carretti 

      2 years ago from Hightstown

      Yep my Clint Eastwood and Shirly Maclaine make those mules new rules LoL

    • mgt28 profile image


      2 years ago

      Hi Ken,

      Very informative. You refer to the first hybrids, please tell if mules breed.

      On a lighter note, it appears that the jenny is choosy as opposed to the mare who does it with every jack.


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