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The Mule or Horse: Which is Best?

Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.

Are There Anymore

people out there who love to argue? I don't mean the ugly, demented style of arguing, but good, healthy arguing that helps move our society along with a peaceful pace. I could learn to live on this simple platform because I find it hard to understand why "some" people love to have clutter in their lives--with too many loose ends and too many moving parts.

The pack mule.

The pack mule.

I Hope That

when you read this personal commentary that you will look on me with different eyes. I am no genius and certainly not a professional politician. I am just a mortal man with something to say and I want to say it in a simple tone and humble fashion as to not be known as a trouble-maker. Thanks.

We have the Mule and the Horse. That ongoing argument of which animal is smarter. I remember the last time this topic was argued was by the late Ed McMahon, the sidekick of the King of Late Night, the also late Johnny Carson. Both had great points in their presentation. But at the end of their discussion, there were no winners. And we know how the legend, the icon, Green Bay Packers head coach, Vince Lombardi, felt about a Tie. He said, "a tie is as exciting as kissing your sister." I still admire him for his outspoken demeanor.

So without stirring up another argument that I would hope would not be a waste of time, so I will stick with one of the two animals that I have selected. I will take the side of the Mule in my presentation.

I didn't flip a coin, so I am taking the side of the Mule and you will understand why in a few minutes.

First of all, the mule is built to pull heavy loads--wagons, plows, and when logging was so popular, the mule was the most-important part of the logger's business. And the mule just rested in the shade watched the human logger almost faint with heat exhaustion and over-work. The mule just kept his mouth shut and worked when it was time. Not one minute before or after. The horse might have pulled the guy's logs, but the horse would be way too impatient--then rearing-up his front hooves showing his butt. The mule gets the score.

Before the automobile was the thing to have, you had those Horse and Buggy teams that carried people to and from town or just going over to visit "Aunt Martha." I never saw any "Mule and Buggy" duo's and if you needed evidence of my point of a mule being better than a horse, you got it right here.

Granted, the horse did have his day in Hollywood, with those mega-popular TV Westerns. There was "Silver," "The Lone Ranger'" horse and "Scout," "Tonto's" horse, but no mules were ever ridden by the Good Guys in White Hats, but as Westerns evolved, we did see a mule star on "Gunsmoke," with Ken "Festus Haggin" Curtis riding astride of "Ruth" his gentle beast. Way to go, Ruth! Hollywood Note: I don't mean to have lofty thoughts, but do you remember the TV show, "Death Valley Days?" Their sponsor was 20 Mule Team Borax, some type of detergent.

There were those Army Mules and the 7th Calvary where our military rode horses. But as a working ratio of which animal worked the most, I will leave this one to someone who knows their statistics--but I will wager than it was the mule who shouldered his load and never complained.

Then as the automobile grew faster and faster, the designers had to include a speedometer to gauge how fast these cars were going and to have a fast car, the car builders built better engines that had 200 Horsepower, not Mulepower. I had to get the Horse Lovers into the act.

Between the mule and horse, the horse is really more reasonable and able to do what his owner says without causing trouble, but the mule, when he chose to be stubborn, you could not get this beast to move unless it was "his" choice.

It was our friend, the horse, that made a lot end rows in starring as TV stars. Do you remember Allan Young, the human who starred with a golden palomino "Mr. Ed?" People loved that horse (and show.) And the late Dan Blocker who was one of the stars on "Bonanza," his nick-name was "Hoss," due to his large girth and heart. At no time was he referred to as "Mule Cartwright" and besides, that sounded to wrong to use as a nick-name.

Both the horse and mule failed at being a lovable household pet such as a cat, dog, or parakeet. And both would have eaten their owner's house and home if the owner was ignorant enough to make these animals live in the house, but I will wager that it would have been the mule as the animal who would have made a perfect household pet for "Little Billy" and "Janie," his sister.

Comparing the mule and horse when it comes to getting attention, the horse wins hooves down. You do not see the hard-working mule saddled-up and rode in the Kentucky Derby and its other races: The Belmont Stakes and The Preakness. The horse just has to be seen and adored by its owner(s) and high-betting fans. Not the mule. He could care less about attention. All this guy wants is a bag full of oats and somewhere dry and warm to sleep. The petting is icing on the cake for him.

Have you ever noticed that when a mule or horse is agitated, the mule kicks with his hind legs and the horse rears-up to use his front hooves? The horse doesn't know that the hind legs are the strongest limbs and this applies to the mule too.

Sadly, the mule didn't fare well in the Comic Book Industry, but "Comet," was a beautiful white horse who belonged to "Super-Woman" and in the Comic Strip Business, "The Phantom" had two pets: "Hero," his highly-trained horse and "Devil," his equally-highly-trained dog. Sorry, Mule Fans, no mule in these places.

I listed and talked about the "possible" places and things that normal sense said would apply to a mule or horse, but I did not go to the trouble of listing Mules working in offices; Horses selling door-to-door. We all know that neither a mule or horse is unlimited.

And I'm not. Long live the mule.

 Nokoto horses.

Nokoto horses.

© 2018 Kenneth Avery

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