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Thursday, December 31, 2009

FenBar's Event Endorsement for New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 2009


If you're within mulebackriding distance of Oakland, California tonight, head on over to Tamales For Booze at the lovely home of my human Aunt and Uncle, Erin and North. The great thing about this party is that they have ten boy chickens that they have cooked into delicious tamales. This means ten fewer brays in the world to compete with mine! The sad thing about this party is that they have ten boy chickens that they have cooked into delicious tamales. Their names were Rusty, Butters, Big Red, Little Red, Tut, Chip, Dale, Bluto, Bert and Ernie. 

That's a Wrap

"One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things." —John Burroughs


I think that this man meant that the mules should always remain senior in rank to the goats and chickens, which is not too hard (though Missy, Supreme Empress of All that the Light Touches, does offer the occasional momentary challenge). If he meant that we were supposed to be physically taller than them then that is no problem whatsoever, and in fact is so easily accomplished that I don't see why he would bother writing a sentence about it at all. So I think my first guess was right. 


Analyzing literature is only one of my strengths. This decade, 2010 through 2019, I would like to develop even more strengths. 


I will share a couple of my goals with you, my loyal readership, in order that you might be inspired to set your own aspirations on something as noble this New Year's Eve.


1. I would like to compel the FarmWife to get a reflective coat with my name and website embroidered upon it in Very Large Font. If we are going to ride in the road and make a spectacle of ourselves in our orange and yellow, it strikes me as an advertising opportunity not to be missed.


2. I would like to obtain a lock of Katie Scarlett's hair in the tradition of human courtship so that I might kick it up a notch and refer to her as my "girlfriend" or "DM" ("Dear Molly) instead of merely as my "internet girlfriend". 


3. I would like to make a Fraggle Rock video as requested by my dear fan Dr. M. I have not quite identified the exact geographic location of the Fraggle Rock cave entrances but my Cartographists are working on this. 


4. I would like to compel the FarmWife to start serving lunch every day in addition to breakfast and dinner. Since she used to go away to work every day and now she does not, this should present no difficulties. (I hope she is noticing this as she types . . . you may recall that I have hooves, and much of my blogging work is assisted by a transcriptionist).


5. I would like to learn this sport as a favor to FarmWife in exchange for my nice salt block and my extra lunch meals:  Working Equitation.   Manageability Test  Speed Test   This is because I think it would be fun for her and also because I would look very fun dressed up as a Lusitano stallion. Since my parentage is unknown, I think we can safely assume that it is possible my mother was a Lusitano. I never met my father, but perhaps he was a Andalucian cordobesan jack. This would make me terribly authentic! Isn't it exciting to contemplate?? 


6. I would like to see inside the house and find out if there really is a tank full of little fishies like the cat says. If there is, I will revise my goal thus: 


6a: I would like to compel the farmwife to get a beautiful hippocampus for her fishtank. 


Of all of these goals I think that number 5 is the only one that should take more than one calendar year to complete. This is because I do not have an obstacle course of the sort required. There is nothing that those horses can do that I cannot do myself, except possibly cantering so nicely with a rider while managing lead changes in a very small space. And cantering sideways. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fenway Bartholomule's Official Product Endorsement of the Day for Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

I use and recommend the beta biothane halter from bioplastics, ebay seller. I am getting a new halter for Christmas, as well as a brass "Fenway Bartholomule" name plate. I will look like a very rich mule with my very fine personalized halter, and only the cattle who didn't die or people who stand inside my personal space bubble will know that it's not leather.

The Fenway Park Connection

There have been questions (thank you, Becky) about whether Fenway Park was named after me. I can only answer to those who are willing to suspend their disbelief in the paranormal, because the answer points to the murky folds in the space-time continuum.
I have heard that in every generation there is born a seer with the power to glimpse beyond the here and now. I am sure that there was someone like this born the year they made Fenway Park, because how else would they have known that I would be born many years later in 1994? The other layer of complexity is that my first name was Buckeye, and that my true identity as Fenway Bartholomule was not revealed until last February when I came to Bent Barrow Farm. The husband here has a fondness for the Red Sox, which must have come to him as a premonition of the important role that a mule named Fenway Bartholomule, né Buckeye, would one day have in his life. It is almost too much to ponder unless you like mind-bending science fiction with convoluted plotlines, in which case it sounds kind of like a good movie! Perhaps I will start working on a screenplay.

The Seven Responsibilities of Fenway Bartholomule

To the uninformed, it may appear that I spend nearly all of every day standing around or nibbling tender grasses, but I think it would be easy for all of you to understand my importance if you only just looked deeper. I have many jobs on Bent Barrow Farm but there are seven that are especially key.


1. Taking FarmWife on our weekly tours of the countryside. This is the one that most people think of when they meet me and I don't really understand completely, since this is leisure time for both of us, but it's got to be important because the humans talk about it all the time. 


2. Providing the goats companionship and guidance. I do realize that the goats have feelings too, even though their feelings are usually jealousy or spite or false superiority. It would be sad if they had no one to set a good example for them.


3. Monitoring the Perimeter. I make sure that no one can come into or out of the Bent Barrow Farm vicinity without sounding the alarm. The alarm, of course, is my very pretty bray which is not so much an unpleasant consequence as it is a delightful surprise, so for this reason it is good that so far all of the trespassers have been good people.


4. Crying then news. I do not have a fortified rampart from which to cry the news but I do try to keep the neighbors abreast of our goings on as well as I can. This means that everyone here knows when there is A) motion in the FarmWife's kitchen or bedroom, which windows I can see from my paddock, B) motion in the driveway where the hay is produced, or C) motion in the shed where the hay is stored. This is important in case any of the neighbors should ever have an emergency and need the assistance of either the FarmWife or the hay.



5. Eating the hay. The FarmWife has a magical station wagon which produces hay at regular intervals, and without me to eat it I'm sure it would soon overrun our small lane. I don't know what the neighbors would do, since they can't eat hay and the goats surely aren't big enough to do the job themselves. Soon the families on the dead-end beyond us would be trapped beyond salvation, and without a road or an intrepid mule to escape on they would surely starve. It is very lucky that I am here to keep the scourge of the hay from becoming deadly. As it is, I have turned a dangerous threat into a tasty treat simply by maintaining my healthy appetite. 


6. Offering aesthetic pleasure. The humans are silly creatures in many ways but I like them nonetheless, and one thing I like about them is that they think I'm beautiful. I don't mind being admired as a work of art, and I especially don't mind if it means that the FarmWife will stay home and look at me and give me hay on a regular schedule instead of traipsing off to some fancy-schmansy urban art museum to look at some glorified soup cans. 


7. Carrying the larval humans to the salmon pond on Innis Creek. I don't do this often, since the human parents seem to be of the impression that riders under three need an assistant to spot them. I don't really get it, since I am Reliable and Steadfast, but I like them well enough to let it go. 


There is also the job of watching the baby goats, which doesn't really need a number because it is more of a favor than an obligation, but which I sort miss now that Jasper Jules is all grown up. We will have more babies in the spring and I sort of kind of think it might be fun to play with the little tykes again. They are very cute before they get to the tail-nibbling age. 



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bike—0. Mule—1.

Today my FarmWife was faced with a choice between taking a bike ride with her human child and taking a mule ride with me. She opted for the latter, but came home walking with a flat tire. I don't know if there's a moral in this, but I do know that I wouldn't have gotten a flat tire if she had picked me. 


Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "but Fenway, you might have come up lame." I say to you this: 1. I would not have come up lame because I have hooves of steel and legs of titanium. (Knock on wood). 2. Mules are made of sturdier stock than that! and 3. Even if I had, which I wouldn't have, the FarmWife would have enjoyed the pleasure of my company as we walked home side by side. 
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

My hooves, for Ali (I hope FW captioned them all right!)

RF

RH (LH behind)

RF (it does not lean out as badly as this photo makes it appear)

From Front

LF

LH

LF

Hind (pardon the tummy—I'm naturally big barreled)

Fronts viewed from behind

RF (see the inward collapse of his outer wall, on left of photo)

RF

RF

RF

LF

LH (bad, dirty photo—sorry. My heel DOES have a little more definition than this photo shows)


LH

LF

From Front

RH

RH

Hinds

LH (I think!)

RH (I think!)

RH



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