Saturday, January 9, 2010
Defining The Muleness—Part I of a Series
The single most important, central, key, fundamental quality which defines The Muleness is Trustworthiness. The very good thing about this is that if you are trustworthy, people will believe that you are going to do what you say you are going to do, and you are going to do it with good judgement and proper regard to safety. An example: If I tell the FarmWife I am going to have a couple of nibbles on these tender grasses while she removes my winter blanket and picks my hooves, and then I shall load myself in the trailer, she believes me and I get to have a couple of nibbles on these tender grasses. If Citizen #15 1/2 (remember, Pony is a four-letter word!) tells the FarmWife that HE is going to have a nibble on these tender grasses, the FarmWife had better be wearing her high-traction barn boots. Give him one inch of leverage and that fellow will be halfway down the lane, galloping higgledy-piggledy across the freshly seeded lawn of the neighbors-with-whom-we-are-supposed-to-be-currying-favor-because-they-have-a-tractor-and-we-do-not. In this scenario, I get several nibbles of tender grasses and a fun trailer ride while Citizen #15 1/2 gets a lathering workout and a retaliating glare, followed by a delay of said fun trailer ride in order to accommodate an adequate cool down period.
Trustworthiness also means that the larval human children can safely ride upon my back to the salmon pond on Innis Creek, and though I am somewhat baffled by the formalities of helmets and human spotters I do realize that there is a good reason I deserve this privilege while many horses do not. It is because I am trusted, and it results in the glorious back-scratchingly wonderment of a roll or eight in the new gravel mule wallow that the Dept. of Public Works has recently installed at said pond. Aaaaaaah.
The second defining characteristic of The Muleness is The Calmly Investigative Nature. It can also be called an Openness to Novelty. This, combined with a healthy dose of Trustworthiness, results in an intrepid adventure partner for human riders like the FarmWife. It means that something along the lines of a Gaping Cavern where there used to be a Trail* will result not in a Whirl-and-Bolt, Hasta-la-Vista-Farmwife, Enjoy-Lying-Bleeding-On-The-Ground-Whilst-I-Flee-To-Safety kind of a day, but rather a "Goodness, FarmWife, Isn't That An Interesting Alteration In the Terrain. Why Don't We Safely Bypass The Altered Section of Roadway On The Right" kind of day. Good thinking, when you're a guy who depends upon the FarmWife for dinner!
The other good thing about the Calmly Investigative Nature is that it allows me to do things that other people do not get to do. One such thing is to go into the Orchard for tender grasses. I get to do this while others do not because I can be trusted not to fly into a panic and crash into the greenhouse at the sight of Black Plastic Mulch. While many equines equate Black Plastic Mulch with the Creature-Spawning Black Lagoon, I know through my Calm Investigation that it is actually a kind of blanket that the humans use to insulate my manure against the elements. They love me Sooooooo much that they don't want a single little reminder of me to wash away. They love me because of the Muleness.
Tomorrow we will discuss such additional qualities of Muleness as Persistence and Tolerance, but right now I am working on the quality of Appetite. This means that the FarmWife had best get her little excuses for hooves off that keyboard and out to the hay shed right now! Until next time.
*This real life example has been dramatized through exaggeration.