via The Rouge Mule
We were a couple of tourists,
vacationing last week.
We camped out in the Rockies,
beneath the mountain peaks.
We put our ponies in a pen,
after riding ’round a bit.
We marveled at the scenery,
and took many shots of it.
We layered up cuz we were cold
in the crisp morning air,
and we grumbled about the dust,
and its presence ev’rywhere.
We rode up to the Great Divide,
a ride like none before.
There was no way to be prepared
for what it held in store.
The waterfalls and the switchbacks,
the paths across loose shale,
the rock that bounced for many feet,
a hoof kicked off the trail.
Hindquarters slipping off the path,
caused hearts to skip a beat.
We teased and called encouragement.
Adventure can be sweet!
We laughed and talked and shared our lives,
that time that we did spend.
The views were all the sweeter cuz
we shared them with our friends.
A vacation in the Rockies?
Oh, it was more than that.
The time we spend with folks we love,
is really where it’s at.
© April 2013 by Ani O.
I’ve hooked my horse up to a cart
a couple times, for fun.
But when she ran and flipped the thing
my driving days were done.
One horse can be tough to handle,
I can’t imagine two.
And if they want to scrap and fight,
Whatever would I do?
When the horse was transportation
back in days of old,
there were men called Teamsters,
worth their weight in gold.
There are teamsters still today,
who can center a team of hosses.
You see them flicker back their ears,
They’ve learned who the boss is.
The Teamster sees potential in
this pair of such great pow’r.
Teaching them to pull together
for a needful hour.
I see a lesson here for me,
as I look upon my mate.
Sometimes we fight and scrap ourselves.
We don’t cooperate.
We want to go our selfish way,,
We each think we’re the boss!
The Master comes and talks to us,
a teamster to his hoss.
He lengthens here and loosens there,
our tugs and fills so knowing,
showing us that He’s the boss,
and He knows where we’re going.
And so He centers us, His team
with a voice that’s full of care,
reminding us that we’re a match.
and His beloved pair.
My mate and I, we are a team,
through good or stormy weather.
We lean and pull at His command,
and so … we pull together.
Shaffee had a team of mules, large and soft and black.
They were taller than my dad, and had great, fat backs.
Shaffee loved those big mules, he never made them work.
They were kind and friendly, but pleasant don’t plow dirt.
Funny thing about those mules, that never plowed the sod,
(you could see it from afar) – their mismatched ears were odd.
Dad and I would call on him and go see his ‘ol friends’.
They always came to the fence, glad to make amends.
I would study them big ears. They were rough and bumpy
Three ears had missing tips, one – half gone and lumpy.
The old man saw me staring and then he told the tale
of how those mules lost their ears on a fiery trail.
This story is old, he said. Near forty years ago!
We lived up in the North Woods, close to Peshtigo.
I heard Dad suck in his breath, and knew this tale was true.
He had lumberjack-ed up there, back in his years of youth.
A fire raged, great and hot. The flames reached to the sky,
and as far as you could see. We all began to cry.
The only thing I could think was to go into the burn
to get to where it was safe. There’s nowhere else to turn.
I hooked my mules to the cart. The wife wet down the quilts.
I steered them into the flames, (and swallowed up my guilt.)
We hid in our comforters , to keep us from the heat.
Those two mules went right on through, though the ground burnt their feet.
By prayer and grace, we made it through heat and flames that day.
My family and I, and the mules who pulled our dray.
We were fine but smelled of smoke and felt we got off cheap.
Our faithful friends lost their ears, but they had earned their keep.
The only hair they had left, was where their harness lay.
We cried as we tended them. Thank God for them, that day.
Dad’s and my eyes teared up, as we looked upon those two
black and shiny pair of friends; beloved heroes, true.
The courage of those brave mules still inspires me today.
Courage means to face the fire and not to run away.