Monday, April 11, 2011

Dear Universe

Art by Gaylon Dingler (detail)
Dear Universe,

Somewhere in a barn somewhere there is an unused 19 inch full face work collar in good repair. It is sitting there, gathering dust. Also, I think, there are some sturdy 20" farm hames. Oh, and a pair of short tugs (not rotten!).

If you can find that collar, Universe, I ask that you direct its owners to I want that collar. If only its owners knew, they could dig it out from that mouldery old harness room and send it to me. I would repay them with shipping and handling costs as well as my brayful well wishes and capacious gratitude. Oh, and also pictures of me dragging little logs and farming implements about with it.

Love, your precious boy—

Fenway Bartholomule

P.S. I realize, Universe, that I should prepare to spend a few hundred for a good collar and hames. I'm not a cheapskate, Universe, but I am a humble mule without  a day job. I thought I'd try asking you first.

P.P.S. Universe, I still really love the breastcollar harness that you (and my fans, and my friends at Chimacum Tack) sent me last year. I use it a lot. I drag a bigger tire now, and am going to start dragging a stone boat too.


  1. If Farmwife can make it this year she might find this event to be aMAYzing for 1) farming, with and without long ears 2) sharing knowledge, and gaining more; 3) networking like mad and did I mention gaining more knowledge? Here's where, at the annual Small Farmers Auction/Swap in Oregon, go view at:

    A subscription to the print copy of Small Farm Journal is pretty pricey but a great deal is online and you can often pick up individual issues at local feed stores, at least, we can here in Oregon esp. the feed/farm stores focusing on small farms with an organic orientation. Anyway, the annual swap meet is absolutely legendary, though you being up in NW Washington and the meet being in Madras Oregon (central heading to eastern Oregon, closest big towns Bend/Redmond)might be difficult to plan at this late hour. But, FenBar, if you could babysit the goats and urge FarmWife to do a "road trip" to Madras, you might get that collar and hames sooner rather than later!

  2. Many years ago I found a beautiful set of triple trace harnesses while travelling though eastern Washington. I purchased the pair for $35. I was living in an old bus at the time. Having no room to store them onboard, I left them, carefully tended, in a friend's large dairy barn in Van Zandt. I proceeded on trip around the USA. I then received the unforunate news that the harnesses were destroyed when the barn burned to the ground. Maybe you can find the traces of these traces floating in the air above Acme as dust. I thus learned to come to terms with the notion of material impermanance.

  3. Great comments! Thank you!

    Anon #1—A trip to Madras would be quite within reason if it were any other weekend—this weekend, though, FarmWife's parents-in-law will be here from New Hampshire (and, contrary to stereotypes, she ADORES her in-laws and wouldn't miss a minute of their visit). She shall try for another year.

    Anon#2—the traces of the traces are around me as we speak. I can see them in the greenness, here, of every budding leaf. (Sorry—your post was so poetic that I felt a response had to be, too.)



  4. To go with that (eventual) collar/hames set you would also need spiffy new Cashel Long-Ears Ear-net so as to keep at bay the little winged bloodsuckers that hurt beautiful silky ears. Add that to the Supplication to The Powers that Be!


Thanks in Advance for Your Mulish Opinion!