fdelano Posted May 21, 2012 Share Posted May 21, 2012 Substance Coaxing a wary mule to let me get close enough to slip the bridle and bit into its toothy mouth was not a simple task, one necessary as the first step to making the hybrid animal controllable for another day of toil, dragging a bottom plow through hard earth salted with rocks, roots and even the sweat of hundreds of animals over the many years. With straps looped over the crossbar of the plow’s sturdy wooden frame, I follow and encourage the mule forward, back and forth across the acres, he punishing me almost as much as I my torture of him. The newly turned earth is at least soothing to my bare feet, the contact real as the stones that also bruise the bottoms of the mule’s hooves. When finally, I rid him of the attached burden of plow and harness, he enters the boarded pen to drink heavily from the galvanized tub of water before tackling the sparse allowance of corn and the pitchfork of dry hay. He will stand all night, not anticipating the same duties bound to come with the morning sun. I remember for us both, dreading and knowing that with the new day I must again feel the real elements of being slave to the farm’s owner, just as the mule must slave for me or with me. It’s a love-hate relationship of fighting our fate with irritability and resentment. Life. What it was. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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