Thursday, November 3, 2011

Get Behind The Mule

"more patient, sure-footed, hardy and long-lived than horses, and they are considered less obstinate, faster, and more intelligent than donkeys."

WHB 2011 october 31

I'm sure this has already been offered as a torrent but I want to put it up again
for those who didn't catch it when suggested...I can burn it to disc if anyone needs
a copy and for anyone who might know phil_er_up , the taper of this little nugget
give thanks...tapers have no idea how many people they effect and affect ;-)
CA and CO make
a pretty good match, eh?
it's all good

such a sweet night and a wonderful recording...appreciate your hard work and good effort...the sweetness continues...I testify to dancing all night...get your shine on your soulshine on! just a little patchwork quilt and a bit of perfect shelter...ah nights come and go and magic is in and out not fadeaway! Thank you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Get Behind The Mule

Get Behind The Mule
Tom Waits

Molly be damned smote Jimmy the Harp
With a horrid little pistol and a lariat
She's goin to the bottom
And she's goin down the drain
Said she wasn't big enough to carry it

She got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow
She got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow
She got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow
She got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow

Choppity chop goes the axe in the woods
You gotta meet me by the fall down tree
Shovel of dirt upon a coffin lid
And I know they'll come lookin for me boys
And I know they'll come a-lookin for me

Got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow
Got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow
Got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow
Got to get behind the Mule
In the morning and plow

Big Jack Earl was 8'1
He stood in the road and he cried
He couldn't make her love him
Couldn't make her stay
But tell the good Lord that he tried
Dusty trail from Atchison to Placerville
On the wreck of the Weaverville stage
Beaula fired on Beatty for a lemonade
I was stirring my brandy with a nail boys
Stirring my brandy with a nail
Well the rampaging sons of the widow James
Jack the cutter and the pock marked kid
Had to stand naked at the bottom
Of the cross
And tell the good lord what they did
Tell the good lord what they did
Punctuated birds on the power line
In a Studebaker with the Birdie Joe Joaks
I'm diggin all the way to China
With a silver spoon
While the hangman fumbles with the noose, boys
The hangman fumbles with the noose
Pin your ear to the wisdom post
Pin your eye to the line
Never let the weeds get higher
Than the garden
Always keep a sapphire in your mind
Always keep a diamond in your mind

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This story while not in its entirety has been reproduced with permission by "Mules and More" please visit their www page @
By: Molly Chandezi - Moab, Utah and photos by the Larry and Laura Amos
It has historically been an ccepted “fact” that since mules are hybrids, they cannot reproduce. The scientific reason given for their sterility is that horses have 64 chromosomes, donkeys have 62 and their offspring (mules) have 63. Even numbers of chromosomes are required for reproduction.....almost always. Chromosomes are “structures” that serve as storage units for an organism’s DNA. DNA stands for the unpronounceable name of a chemical that tells organisms how to grow. For example it tells the mule’s body how long to make its ears, how to build its brain and to put the skin and hair on the outside of the body. It is theoretically impossible for mules to be sires or dams.
Mule fertility is so rare that the Romans had a saying, “Cum mula peperit” meaning “when a mule foals,” or in modern terms, “when hell freezes over.”
When they were doing research for the recently released book on mules, The Natural Superiority of Mules, John and Sena Hauer tried to find documented cases of molly mules giving birth. There were numerous rumors of mules giving birth in China, Albania, Estonia and other exotic places where DNA testing is not available. For some reason, the Hauers did not uncover information about mollies in Texas and Nebraska that had foals–-more about that later.
The Hauers were excited and very interested when Colorado residents Larry and Laura Amos called on May 3, 2007, to tell them that one of their molly mules, Kate, had given birth to a little male equine. The baby would not technically be a mule (half horse and half donkey) since it would have to be either one-third horse and two-thirds donkey, or two-thirds horse and one-third donkey. Editor's Correction: The new foal could not be 1/3 horse and 2/3 donkey (or the reverse) as indicated above. Because a mule is one-half horse and one-half donkey, a foal from a mule by a donkey would be 3/4 donkey and 1/4 horse.
John immediately made arrangements to visit the Amos Ranch in order to photograph the mother and baby and take hair from each of them for DNA analysis.Larry and Laura Amos own Winterhawk Outfitters in Colbran, Colorado. They guide elk hunters, take pack trips, and fishing trips to remote lakes and streams in the Flat Tops Wilderness. They have taught American soldiers the fine art of mule packing for use in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Read more about Winterhawk in The Natural Superiority of Mules.)Larry said, “I worked Kate all fall, and turned her out in early December in to a pasture by the house, along with about 50 other mules, and 50 horses. At the time, we had two horse mares that were due to have horse babies in the spring. On April 27, at about midnight, I woke up hearing a commotion in the corral. I went out to check, and didn’t see anything unusual, and the horses and mules settled down. At 3 a.m. the horses were whinnying and the mules braying and stirring around. I went out again and looked around and didn’t see anything of concern and went back to bed.”
Larry continued, “I got up at 5:30 a.m., looked out the window, and saw Kate in the pasture with a foal. She and the baby were both worn out from fighting off the other horses and mules. Mares and geldings will sometimes steal babies from their mothers, and john mules may try to kill them. I went out and picked the little fellow up and carried him to the arena. One of the wranglers led the mother. The foal was shaky, but obviously nursing and getting nourishment.” When asked what he thought when he saw Kate with a baby, Larry said, “I thought ‘holy s#%!’” Laura Amos said, “When Larry and I looked out the window and first saw Kate standing in the pasture with her baby, they were right in the center of of a group of about 100 horses and mules. I turned to Larry and said, ‘Where did THAT come from?’ There was a definite commotion and Kate was defending the baby. I woke our daughter, Lauren, and we went out to see the momma and her new baby. Lauren skipped school and we looked at our miracle mule all day.”
Laura said that they had a good winter and all of their mules and horses were fat, so they had not noticed that Kate was more than just fat. Laura said, “This is all very exciting, and I hope we can breed Kate back, to a horse this time.” It was left up to Laura and Lauren to name the colt. They couldn’t think of a name they liked that is appropriate for a miracle baby, so they decided to have a “Name Kate’s Baby Contest.” Sue Cole agreed that her magazine, Mules and More, will sponsor the contest. For contest rules see page 11. The winner of the contest will receive a signed copy of Hauer’s book The Natural Superiority of Mules, compliments of Mules and More.
Larry and Laura didn’t know what to do or who they should notify about the unexpected event. They had recently read John’s book, The Natural Superiority of Mules, and decided that because of his obvious love for the long-eared critters, John should be the first to know, and that he could advise them about how rare mule motherhood really is, and what they should do about such an unexpected event taking place right there in their corral.
John and Sena were somewhat dubious. They had heard of several instances of molly mules stealing a mule baby from a horse mare. In some cases, the molly had actually produced nourishing milk for her newly adopted baby. Larry assured them that there were no horse mares in their area that might have given birth to the baby mule. When John got to the Amos ranch and saw the mother and foal and watched as the little one suckled the molly and had white, frothy milk all over his nose, he had no doubt that the almost impossible had happened there on the Amos ranch. He was convinced that Kate was indeed a momma and not just a foster parent.
Larry pointed to a large pasture containing about 100 mules and horses that were all gathered close to the fence watching the activity in the mule mother’s corral. Larry said, “John, do you want to check all of them to see if there is any indication that one of them might be this baby mule’s mother?” John politely declined the offer, being already convinced that Kate was indeed the mother of the long-legged, long-faced, and extra-long-eared baby. John had to do some research to locate a laboratory that works with equine DNA. The most obvious choice was the University of Kentucky (UK) in Lexington. Breeders of race horses frequently have DNA testing done at UK to prove the identity of the sires of their foals. On May 4 the hair collected from Kate and the baby was sent by express mail to the equine science lab at the University of Kentucky. Two weeks later, after thorough testing, the director of the lab called with the good news that the DNA of Kate matched that of her baby. The tests are extremely accurate, leaving no doubt that the molly mule, Kate, had conceived and given birth.
As further proof of Kate being the mother of the foal, John suggested having a vet draw blood for DNA analysis at a different lab. He also wanted to get a chromosome count for both Kate and her foal. Larry took the pair to Dr. John Harris in Grand Junction, Colorado, where a blood sample was taken from each animal. The blood samples were sent by Dr. Harris to the lab at the University of California at Davis. Again, the DNA analysis showed that Kate is a mother. Additional blood samples will have to be sent to the lab in special vials in order to get chromosome counts for momma and baby. The result of the chromosome analysis will be reported in an upcoming issue of Mules and More.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Troubled Fields

donkey up close

I suppose after years of listening to Nancy Griffith, I've come to love her more than I can express. I've heard this song more than once, but apparently hadn't "listened/heard" quite enough...I've come to understand over the years what my purpose is on this planet...perhaps at times i am the plow,but i do know without a doubt I am the "mule" and if i've learned anything, it's that sweat and tears produce Soulshine and good friends when the fields of your heart seem as if they are "in dust as deep as snow"stop looking inside your pockets cause i promise, if you look beyond the dust "the rain will fall"...'you'll be the mule and i can be the plow'. Cause "there's still a lotta love, here in these troubled fields"..(check out the Nancy Griffith special on Ovation! nice stuff).

Troubled Fields (Nanci Griffith & Rick West)

Baby I know that we've got trouble in the fields

When the bankers swarm like locust out there turning away our yield

The trains roll by our silos, silver in the rain

They leave our pockets full of nothingBut our dreams and the golden grain

Have you seen the folks in line downtown at the station

They're all buying their ticket out and talking the great depression

Our parents had their hard times fifty years ago

When they stood out in these empty fields in dust as deep as snow

[Chorus:]And all this trouble in our fields

If this rain can fall, these wounds can heal

They'll never take our native soilBut if we sell that new John Deere

And then we'll work these crops with sweat and tears

You'll be the mule I'll be the plow

Come harvest time we'll work it out

There's still a lotta love, here in these troubled fields

There's a book up on the shelf about the dust bowl days

And there's a little bit of you and a little bit of me

In the photos on every page

Now our children live in the city and they rest upon our shoulders

They never want the rain to fall or the weather to get colder

[Chorus] You'll be the mule I'll be the plow

Come harvest time we'll work it out

There's still a lotta love, here in these troubled fields

Monday, January 28, 2008

Republics Negros Still Waiting For Forty Acres and a Mule!

As Reported in the Onion:
Tuesday 20 May 1902
Republic's Negros Still Waiting For Forty Acres and a Mule!
Agriculture Secretary Faults Low Mule, Acreage
Availability at Present.
Washington, May 18...
Nearly 30 years after the end of Reconstruction, freed-men and free-born throughout the lands' Negro populace experienced today yet another delay in their long promised allocations of
Forty Fcres and a Mule.
citing "prohibitive" federal budget inadequacies,"
U.S. Agriculture Secretary James Wilson announced that
"the United States presently cannot afford to allocate
Forty Acres or Mules
to any citizen particularly those
of dark skinned African persuasion, at this time."
Wilson urged all Negroes to remain forth-right and stead-fast in their patience.
He addressed Negroes directly by adding,
"Please do not commit any acts of violence or impropriety
against our nation's White Women
while waiting."
Negroes were urged by the Secretary to bear in mind
that the consequences of any such tempestous response
to his announcement would cause
further delays in Mule and Acreage allocations" he said.
Wilson promised that, if coffee was served hot, in a timely fashion,
and with pleasant demeanor,
any number of Mules and allocations,
may be forth-comings.
For Negroes who may have grown tired of waiting,
the Department of Agriculture is offering special premiums
that may be accepted in lieu of Mules and Acreage.
Negroes waiting fifteen to twenty-five years are eligible
to receive a three-legged stool,
suitable for milking a cow or goat, or for elevating themselves
to a slightly higher station than to which they are normally accustomed.
Negroes who have been waiting twenty-six to forty-two years,
will receive a wooden, jointed dancing-man on a stick,
which makes a pleasing and whimsical clattering sound
when jerked in an up-and-down motion upon a thin piece of wood.
And finally,
those Negroes who have waited
forty-three years are more will receive a fine bold of sturdy calico,
from which anything from curtains to a fancy pinafore maybe sewn.
Despite these considerable offers (platitudes),
some Negroes stubbornly continue to hope
for the Parcel of Land and Mule they were promised
so long ago,
despite the reasoned explanations given to them
as to why this is not likely.