Friday, February 13, 2009

Speakin' of Countin'

We had an old mule one time back on the farm. There wasn't much cotton picking or corn picking to do, we had already done that, so I was out in the woods with the mule trying to snake up some firewood. I must have been twelve or thirteen already and weighed at least seventy pounds so that old mule was no match for me. He probably wouldn't a pound over two thousand. I got the harness on him and hooked up the single-tree with the dogs (hooks for the logs) dragging on the ground and a hammer in my hand. I got him backed up to the log and started driving the dogs into the downed tree. It was my first time but I knew to put the dogs on three sides so the log would pull and not roll. Now my dad was a logger from way back and that old mule knew him. That old mule also knew how many times my dad swung the hammer to get the dogs in the log. I took too many swings and the mule lost his patience. He took off to the woodpile and stopped. 'Now what was that all about, he forgot the log.' I chased after him and we tried again. On the same number of swings, the mule headed for the woodpile. This time though the log was attached enough for him to drag it with him. It took me a while to figure it out but that old mule was counting my swings by the ping it made when I hit the dog with the hammer. A countin' mule, now that is something. Wall Street and Washington both could use an old mule like that.

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