Grit Blogs > My Bad Sheep

Black Ruby

A photo of Diane…no more can I claim scientific accuracy when bandying about the accusation ‘stubborn as a mule’. Not after hubby Bill (a.k.a. The Peanut Gallery) pointed out an amazing article discussing one Black Ruby, the best racing mule in history – and a rural Sonoma County, California  native.

You heard right. ‘Racing’ and ‘mule’ have NEVER been paired, in my book. Indeed, over the decades I’ve cultivated quite a different picture of a mule as being: obstinate, stubborn, plodding, poky, and downright ornery.

“A LOT like you,” observed The Peanut Gallery kindly. And pointedly.

I acquiesce even as I take exception to the ‘plodding and poky’ piece.

But apparently Black Ruby is the Secretariat of mules – and more. ‘More’ because Secretariat never won 57 races, didn’t hold the world record at three distances, and was never named the champion of his breed.

Black Ruby was able, in one fell swoop, to totally change my perspective on mules – and my hitherto lack of affection for them.

I began envisioning our 2.5 acres converted to Diane’s Racing Mule Farm. It would TOTALLY go with my Fainting Goats Project (intended to scare the pants off the UPS driver when he charged up our driveway only to observe an entire field of gentle goats apparently fall over dead at the speed of his passage. Worth.Every.Penny.)

And the Pygmy Elephant, the sight of which was orchestrated to make any aging hippie believe in the lasting power of a ‘flashback effect’ (…same goes for its companion, the Pygmy Hippo).

Instead of mules sedately (and stubbornly) grazing quietly in the back forty, UPS would catch sight of a new breed of RACING MULES tearing up said back forty at the speed of light, undoubtedly preparing for their first winning race.

Wow. I could charge ADMISSION for this.

And it would TOTALLY go with my Jackalope Breeding Pens.

Unfortunately, The Peanut Gallery has NO imagination.

And pointed out that the Pygmy Hippo and Elephant undoubtedly required more acreage and water than a coastal California farmette could provide.

No problem.

I’ll settle for Diane’s Racing Mule, Fainting Goat and Jackalope Breeding Ranch and call it good.

I’m stubborn, that way.