Stubborn as a Mule Doesn't Always Ring True


Country MoonSometimes jackasses can be pretty stubborn, even though that’s not their nature. OK, got your attention, but what did you think I was talking about? Mules, of course.

What exactly is a mule? Technically, it is the offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). A male donkey is referred to as a jackass, so then a mule is half of a jackass, right? Just a little of how my logic works. A horse has 64 chromosomes and a donkey has 62, so a mule ends up with 63. Because of the odd number, a mule can’t reproduce.

Jim always wanted to have a mule. We even went so far as to go to Missouri and visit a farm where they bred and raised mules. He read books on mules, we just never got as far as getting one. However, friends Frank and Patsy Orns have had mules for 25 years now.

Frank swears by their virtues. When asked why he would rather have them as opposed to horses, he doesn’t even have to think before he answers. “They’re smarter than a horse! They remember what they learn and you don’t have to keep training them over and over like you do a horse.”

Mules are intelligent and loaded with personality, both good and bad. Everyone has heard the term “stubborn as a mule’ and with good reason, but not exactly for the reason you may think. They have a strong sense of preservation. If they are overheated, overworked or overused for any reason, mules will either slow down or stop completely. Hence, they have earned their reputation and maybe there is something to be said for it. How many times do we push ourselves when we are physically or mentally exhausted? I have been accused of being stubborn as a mule before so maybe I should start considering that a compliment!

Tick and Tess 

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