|Love of my life... a special miniature mule|
Little did I know when I saw an ad for a rather odd looking mule that it would change my life. The ad was a little cryptic.... needs very experienced home.... rare miniature mule..... open to offers..... my common sense radar went - red alert! But... I was looking for a companion for my old horse and had stumbled across the perfect solution. I loved mules and this one needed a home. I have always believed in fate so thought I'd go and have a look.
The first things I heard about The Mini were that he had been herded in to the barn with sheep hurdles because they couldn't catch him, he was wild, bad with his feet and had tried to kill most things smaller than him..... hmmmm. He was a miniature creature with a giant attitude. I was also told that they'd never had such interest in any advert they'd placed but had wisely put off anyone so far from coming to see him. I must have seemed mad enough over the phone to be a match!
When I finally saw The Mini he looked like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. Cute! Very rotund, slightly short legs, patchy coat and the cheekiest face with wild and nervous eyes. He was already in a headcollar and rope and was ready for inspection. His handler was very nice but obviously wondered what he might do to me. There was no need. He was very good and nuzzled me and even picked up a back foot (I had no idea until later just how trusting he was being by doing this). I did not need to think about it, I knew he had to come home with me, thankfully my long suffering husband agreed (he is a superstar for supporting me to always follow my dreams). A ridiculous, bargain price was struck and he was 'sold', I whispered that he was coming home with me in a few days.... he tried to climb out of the barn he was in.... hmmmm.
|Take me home... NOW!|
He travelled really well and homeward bound we were. On arrival my old horse was not impressed with my choice of companion for him.... he chased this small creature. The Mini was having none of it and gave as good as he got, fiery little thing he was. I decided that separating them was a good idea so electric fence at the ready and the job was done.
Not for long.... this was my first lesson in the escape artistry of mules. This mini mule could commando crawl under any obstacle in his way. He crept in to the paddock containing his large horse companion and seemed completely unbothered by the horse's best efforts to kill him.... Thankfully they calmed down and tolerated each other after a while.
|A rather moth eaten Mini on arrival!|
|Progress was slow....|
After a couple of years along came Dragon, if I hadn't been through what I had with The Mini I might not have taken her on. I have always loved to ride and this was the one thing The Mini couldn't do so I found a lovely, genius mule to ride. She is complicated and very female!
I love all my equines and appreciate them each one for their individual characters. Roller is gentle and calm and accepting. Dragon is challenging and brave and independent. The Mini is complex and sensitive and loving.
The Mini and I have been together for four years now, the time has flown and he has been a big part of my life. He has made me cry, scratch my head, question, sigh but mostly he's made me laugh and smile.
He has taught me many things....
Patience - I am a pretty impatient person in most aspects of my life but The Mini taught me not to rush and that things will take the time they need. He has always paid me back with patience of his own.
The Nicer Way - there are always quicker ways to achieve what you need but you should always seek the nicer way. The Mini taught me in true mule fashion that you might do it quickly one day but the next you won't do it at all, do it the nice way and you'll be faster the next time.
Perseverance - so many times I wondered will I ever be able to trust this animal with other people? Will he ever be safe to lead outside of the paddock? Will I ever get his feet trimmed? If at first you don't succeed don't give up just think of another way to approach the problem.
A Sense of Humour - I am so used to strangers comments about my little mule pal and why I bother walking him, can't I get a real horse? What's the point of a mini mule? Surely he just mows the grass? At first I was offended, now I don't care, I know the secret and think it's funny that people are so narrow minded. I'm pretty sure many in the neighbourhood call me the weird mule lady... oh well I care not.
|Looks like dessert!|
Empathy - The Mini is a great reader of moods, he knows when to be gentle, he seems to know when you need to laugh and he seems to know when you're nervous or sad. He has empathy with his favourite people and is a great judge of character.
Big is not always best - I freely admit that I didn't really 'get' mini ponies, donkeys or mules until I met The Mini. I had always wondered what the point was? Surely you can't ride them so why bother? I was so wrong. The lorry driver that delivered The Mini chuckled and said he'd become my favourite, he had a mini pony that he wouldn't part with for the world and that they had a way of getting under your skin, he was so right. I think the fact that there is no expectation to 'perform and work' makes things more relaxed. Minis deserve just as much care and time as their larger counterparts but sadly are often used as lawn mowers or paddock ornaments and don't get the handling they need to make them happy with humans.
I believe that sometimes in life fate takes you on a journey you never imagined. The day four years ago that a certain miniature mule neighbrayed his way in to our lives was one of those days. I thought he'd be a companion, the afterthought to the main event that was my horse. How wrong I was.
The Mini has become the love of my life (my husband excepted!), the bringer of smiles, the changer of paths, the funny little mini mule that I wouldn't part with for the world. He was a bargain that day I acquired him, a priceless gem that would never be for sale, will never know another home and who I hope to walk the path of life with for many, many years to come.
I know there will be those of you that read this or stumble upon it that think, silly woman it's only a mule and a small, non rideable one at that. That's OK, I forgive you, I might have thought the same thing once upon a time. Those of you who have been lucky enough to experience what I have will nod and smile and think about that special bond you had or have with another creature, pretty amazing isn't it?
Thanks Mini for bringing much happiness to this house!