Mule in the Well

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Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the mule stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off. This story has been recounted many times and many ways, but it has sat in the back of my mind these past 6 months or so. The old well was this blog itself, Hans World Travels. It is a reconfiguration from a forgone time, when I was half the person I am today — needing to write, just like the water from the well, to grow into myself.

Symbiotically blending my need to travel with a need to support myself otherwise known as work in order to travel to feed my inner being with experience.

As stubborn as a mule when it comes to quality ...

A vicious cycle, full of ups and downs, and I would not trade them for anything. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Shake it off and take a step up! Hans Hyde You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.


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By , the number of mules had expanded to 2. With the cotton boom, primarily in Texas, the number of mules grew to 4.

One-fourth of all the mules were in Texas and the stockyards at Ft. Worth became the world center for buying and selling mules. In , the U. The publication explained the attributes of mules, and gave instructions on how to successfully breed good stock, as was learned in the 's. The farm mule left the farms about the same time as draft mules left the Army, and for the same reason - - the combustion engine. But, during World War II, civilians faced gas rationing, so farmers reintroduced their reliable farm mule, at least for the duration of the war.

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The Old Mule in the Well

In the 's, as Anglo-Saxon settlers from the east moved west, the mule was by far the favorite pack animal. Even during the years of Spanish influence in the Southwest, when horses, burros, llamas, dogs, and even camels were used, the Mexican mule was preferred. The Mexican breed was soon replaced by the American variety - - most of which came from Missouri. On the historic Old Spanish Trail that connected Santa Fe and Los Angeles, trains of pack mules were used from to - - mainly to carry wooden goods.

High quality woolen products from New Mexico Territory were often traded for good mules. The 2, mile long trail was considered the longest, most crooked and difficult trail for pack mules in the history of America. The first group ever to travel over that trail consisted of 60 men and mules. On wagon trains across the plains, mule could cover 30 miles a day, while wagons drawn by horses and oxen could average only five miles a day.

Stage coach lines also preferred mules to horses. Stage coaches were pulled by large mules that could travel six to ten miles per hour over flat, dry land. Towns throughout the country often used mules to pull fire-fighting equipment, and many western towns were originally laid out with extremely wide streets to allow mule teams to turn around.

Western explorers and trailblazers knew the benefit of choosing a good mule and taking care of it.

In choosing a mule, most figured it called for more thought than in choosing a wife. During the Indian wars in the American southwest, mules set a number of endurance records. In , a company of scouts and one pack train, loaded pounds on a mule and left the San Carlos agency in Arizona on a three-day march. In those three days, the mule had covered miles. Another pack train covered miles in 16 hours - - while a third had traveled 85 miles in desert heat in just 12 hours.

He believed that the success of any campaign, to a great extent, depended upon them. About 1, mules operated out of Shasta alone.

mule, super well made - Picture of Il Postino, Santurce

By , the California mule population swelled to over 31, Two mule teams were hitched together to form a foot long mule team. During those years, the mule teams hauled over 20 million pounds of borax out of Death Valley. On those day round trips, over treacherous, mostly water-less terrain in extreme high temperatures, not a single mule was lost - - a tribute to the stamina of the mule. The "Mule Team" symbol was first used in and was registered in Mules were also very useful in the western mining operations.

Pack mules provided unlimited mobility to cavalry, infantry, and artillery units. The mule is, of course, the symbol of the U. During the Mexican War of the mid's, the U. During the Civil War mules were depended upon to transport artillery and supplies. The Union Army used about one million mules - - which they purchased from dealers.

In alone, the Union Army purchased 87, mules. The South, on the other hand, used only half as many mules - - which the soldiers had to provide on their own. Mules, therefore, were taken from Southern farms for military use, making work at the farm much more difficult. It was reported that President Lincoln, when reviewing Union army troops, paid more attention to the comfort of the mules than of his officers. Mules were better adapted to dense jungle trails and steep mountainous terrains that were inaccessible to motorized vehicles.

They carried food, supplies and ammunition into the battle zones, and often carried wounded soldiers out.

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Some 8, mules were killed in those wars, and supply ships carrying mules were prized targets for enemy submarines - - because they were not only destroying needed supplies, but they were destroying transportation as well. World War I is said to be the last major war in which the U. Army used mules in any significant numbers.

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A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' -or-whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened