ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!
Did I ever tell you 'bout the time my mule Rosebud got herself stuck in the mud? I'll tell you about it, but keep it on the QT. Rosebud don't like me tellin' about it and I'd just as soon you didn't go sayin' nothin' to her 'bout me tellin' you. It happened one time when me and her was down there at that swampy spot by the creek. I don't 'member what we doin'. I don't reckon it matters nohow. It had been rainin' but the rain had broke off, the sun come out and dried it up.
I knowed it could get sticky down there, but I didn't pay it much attention. It looked okay. There was a few muddy spots here and there, but it was mostly dry. In fact, it was crusty lookin' in a place or two. I figgered it'd be all right. But I ain't one to go jumpin' off the edge of the world without lookin' over the side neither. So I walked out on it a little way to see if it felt airy bit spongy underfoot. And it didn't. It felt solid.
But I've got purty good size feet and mules, considerin' how big they are, has got little feet. A mule can go places a man can't go 'cause their hooves dig in and grab ahold, but mud holes ain't one of them places. If there ain't no solid bottom, they can't get a toe hold. I mean, they couldn't if they had a toe. But I'd walked out there and tested 'er out and it seemed like it'd be all right. Maybe a little muddy, but that wouldn't hurt her none. All it'd do is get her dirty and she could go to the creek and warsh it off after we finish up. It ain't like she'll melt if she gets wet. But I didn't think about her gettin' stuck. You just don't get a mule stuck.
Well, she come on out there where I was at and there still didn't nothin' happen. It held okay and she come across like it was solid as a rock. I can't remember exactly what it was we was gonna drag outta there, but it must've been a pole or somethin'. Anyway, I hitched her up to it and her hooves started sinkin' in a little, but Rosebud won't give up when she's decided to pull somethin'. I remember her throwin' her weight into it and got it started movin'. Then she hit a soft spot and it just stopped dead.
She eased off a little, glanced back at it once and leaned for'ds like she was gonna rest but then she just kept leanin' and leanin' 'til it looked like she was gonna fall flat on her face. I've seen her do that a lot of times. She's a good puller. You wouldn't believe the load that ol' mule can pull when she starts leanin' like that, puttin' all of her muscles into it. And she was really a layin' into it this time.
About the time it looked like she was gonna get it movin' again, one of her hind laigs broke through the crust where the ground had dried and it was like she'd busted through ice on a pond. Then the other'n busted through and she sunk plum up to her belly. She started pawin' with her front laigs, tryin' to scramble up out of there, but I reckon she's forgot about bein' hooked to a load. And the more she pawed, the more she churned up the mud and the worse she sunk in.
She wasn't gettin' nowhere like that. I hollered and told her to let up on the pullin' so I could unhitch her but, as you might know, she's stubborn as a mule and wouldn't do it. She was determined she wasn't gonna let that mud beat her. Well, she on went strainin' at it for a few more minnits, long enough to see she wasn't gonna be able to pull it outta there so she backed off enough that I could unhitch her. But even after I got her unhitched she was still stuck tight. It was like she was tryin' to paw her way out of quicksand. The solid ground kept crumblin' off and she couldn't get a foothold.
She worked at it for a hour before she tired out and give up. It was plain even to her that she was stuck and if I didn't help her, she was gonna have to wait a week 'til the ground dried out in under her. First, I tried cuttin' brush and puttin' it in front of her so she could get ahold of somethin' and get out like that. That didn't work. Then I tried gettin' behind her and shovin', tryin' to push her out. All that done was get me muddy too. Finally, I got ahold of the chain and tried pullin' her out. Same ol' story. That didn't work either. Nothin' worked. I finally told her I was gonna go get ol' Denver and get him to bring his pickup truck down there and pull her out. I told her we'd hook to her chain and pull her out like that.
You wouldn't think it, but I had some trouble talkin' her into it. She didn't like the idea of havin' to have a pickup truck to pull her out, but I told her we didn't have no choice. She couldn't get out by herself and I couldn't help her enough to get her out. Savin' face takes a back seat to gettin' pulled out when you're stuck the mud like she was. Then I went over to Denver's and got him.
After it was all over, it didn't hurt her none. There wasn't nothin' to it after Denver got there. He backed the truck down to where he could hook up to her and just eased her right up and out of there. After that she was okay.
But don't say nothin' to her about it. It still hurts her pride some. Proud mule that she is, it was purty hard on her.
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