Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Things Learned and Confirmed

Last night, dear readers, I tried something new.

You see, FarmWife, exhibiting some sixth-sensitive premonition, has gotten the hankering to teach me to drive. I have not told her that I am saving up to buy her a harness in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 so I can only guess that she retains more of my dictation than I had previously realized. I guess her transcription work is not as passive as I had assumed. 

Given my foggy memory of early events and FarmWife's total lack of knowledge about my first 13 years of life, we had no way of knowing whether driving was one of skills I'd picked up in Ohio. Now, we do: we have learned, by my obvious lack of familiarity with the concept, that being ground-driven was very new to me. 

During my brief initial ground-driving lesson, conducted in my surcingle and snaffle bridle with long-reins, I conducted a Rearrangement of Hoofies. This caused no danger to FarmWife or myself, because of the mulish composure with which I managed the Rearrangement, but my tip-tappety reorganization of my limbs led FarmWife to the conclusion that this was something different for me. 

Confirmed, though, was my tremendous wonderfulness and my openness to things that are new. FarmWife drove me hither and yon, hither and yon, up and down our dead-end lane until she was sure of two things: first, that I was still in command of my obedience to her voice (whoa, walk, and trot . . . gee and haw will come later) with rock-like adherence to her spoken requests, and second, that I was still the Best in the World. I performed like a champion, ears a'flickin' in startled wonderment at this new scenario. I was surprised and amazed but I was not confused. Mules are clever like that. 

Now, FarmWife has plenty of opportunity before her. Not being in possession of a harness, she will spend many a happy afternoon following my glorious behind down the sunny and shade-dappled corridors of Wickersham before she introduces the concept of pulling. When the time for that endeavor comes, she will be well-prepared, as she has already identified a source for an eminently draggable Old Tire. Give us a year, and we'll be haulin' in firewood with the best of them. 

FarmWife has started a miniature horse in harness, and he was so small as to be little more than half a horse, really. I, too, am half a horse, and we have also in our favor the fact of our unrelenting mutual trust and love. We are sure that this driving training will go nicely, but FarmWife welcomes advice, comments, and criticism on the subject. Just refrain, please, from recommending lessons—FarmWife regrets that there is no budget for instruction. 

I, for one, am excited about this turn of events. It is fun to grow in my capabilities, and this ground driving business is a nice alternative to carrying Miss Ganglylimbs up the mountain. 



  1. If FarmWife feels that your mutual communication is stronger, and less likely to cause Rearrangement of Hoofies, during the times when she gangles her long limbs around your barrel as opposed to the times when she is traipsing behind you, then she could always begin the dragging lessons by simply holding onto a rope in her hand attached to a draggable item while you are carrying her. She could even consider doing it with an unattached rope and no item first, lest the draggable item's audible perturbations against the ground and/or the view of it following you should cause you some concern. This means that there need not be a delay in terms of starting the dragging....

    If she started this in a circle with the item in the centre and your incomparable nose facing the centre as you go around - first with no tension on the rope and then eventually with tension applied in slowly escalating amounts - then she could incrementally accustom your good self to the dragging concept, firstly by circling the object and then gradually bringing it more and more behind you. She could also accustom you to dragging it while you majestically step backwards such that the object approaches you from the front. The marvellous part is that she can drop the rope at any time that it seems a good idea to do so.

    Then, it should not be too much of a leap for you eventually to drag the object from the long lines or a harness....

    This is how I, Pants the Mule - supersensitive to any unusually sounds - became accustomed to the slithery, rumbly, crunchy, twangy, squeaky, clinking, scratchy and quite frankly perturbing sound of objects following me.

    My faithful human-servant also has some advice which centres around the idea of separating the concept of pulling with your body from pulling with your face. So, she hopes that your FarmWife will endeavour to ensure that your face will always yield lightly to the rein, even when the rest of your body is busy pulling.


    this is the best I can do otherwise I have no driving knowledge. A skill I would love to learn some day.

  3. Pants, I appreciate your thorough and helpful advisory! I had not realized that there was to be a slithery, rumbly, crunchy, twangy, squeaky, clinking, scratchy and perturbing component to this work and I definitely appreciate the heads up. FarmWife ought not have spared me these important details.

    Upupaepops, I will check out your link. Thank you!


Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!