Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stubborn as a Mule . . . In Praise of Abraham

It is with great sadness that I share news of the passing of Abraham the Mule. My dear friend was feeling ill on Wednesday evening, seemed a bit improved on Thursday, then passed Friday afternoon around 2:00pm. We had spent time sitting together that morning. I held Abe's head in my lap, as he lay on the ground, and Baby V the Calf stood with us. Abe & I reminisced about our lives together and I told him how much I loved him. I asked him to stay a bit longer with me if he could, but told him that I understood if he needed to go on. I am quite sentimental, and I have no doubt that my mother & Lassy the Horse were in need of Abraham's company on the other side. Abe went peacefully, slipping into sleep with Baby V guarding him.

As best I can recall, Abe came to live with us circa 1981, at which point he was already several years old. My mother was interested in having a mule for riding out in the Rocky Mountains and this led to the acquisition of our mule. The mule came to us through a "mule trader" in Kentucky and my grandfather gave him the moniker of Abraham. I was about 5 when Abe joined us, so for most of my memory he was a part of my world. My mother rode Abe for years and years. He was strong and dependable, despite an inclination to believe that dreaded mule traps were everywhere . . . mail boxes, fallen trees, trucks -- anything out of the ordinary would cause him to be startled in the fear that it was a clever mule trap!

I have very happy memories of the times I shared with Abraham. I rode him often, though he was never my primary mount. By the late 1990s, Abe retired, along with Lassy the Horse. They came to live at Harrison Farm's barn lot, where they spent a decade together. When my mother passed, Abe & Lassy became mine. They were costly friends (have you seen the price of a bag of Equine Senior?!?), but I am not only sentimental about animals, I am overly sentimental about anything connected to my mother. After Lassy passed last August, Abe shared his quarters with Forrest the Goat and, most recently, Baby V.

Abraham was at least 40 years old, and was in excellent shape until just his last 48 hours. It would be a blessing if we all could go so peacefully! I am grateful for the time we had together. I like to think that he is kicking his heels up in pastures on the other side! God bless Abraham!

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