Thursday, May 12, 2011

What about Opal?


The mule who dislikes people.

The mule who cannot be caught in a larger pasture.

The mule who will not let anyone touch her ears.
She is cantankerous, stubborn, nervous,....
[although under saddle she is one of the best rides ever]

Is she?

Yesterday, my husband staked her out. She is great on a stake, we call her; our large sized weed whacker.
She chews her way around a large circle mowing all but the distasteful weeds, and then is moved to another location.
This is handy.
She's one of those animals who doesn't get tangled.
A large part of the rope is slid through an old water hose which keeps it stiff and from wrapping around legs.

So last night, I went by to bring her some water. I set the bucket down and then plopped into the grass next to it.
Immediately she came up and got a nice long drink.

I reached behind me and picked some clover and offered it to her.
She gently took it and chewed.
I reached a hand up and stroked her forehead and then rubbed her ears.

OHHH....she isn't supposed to like that.
That's right, she is supposed to be horrible about her ears.

So I crooned to her as I rubbed those 'hateful' places and she blew clover and grass breath on me.

So we'd gone one step in learning. Me~~sitting in the grass next to her and handing her clover...while reaching up and rubbing the forbidden areas of her head~~was not a threat.
Putting a bridle on, however was another matter.

I carefully stood up and did something else. I reached down and tapped her left front hoof. She picked it up and held it up while I examined the hoof wall [which had a small crack in it].

I let her have it back and then motioned to Morris and started to walk away.
A very low rumble of a nicker came from behind me.
I stopped and slowly turned my head.

Opal was giving me the low nicker, it was not my imagination.

Side note:
Opal has been my husband's mule for 14 years. They've agreed to disagree. He thinks the 'time' I spend with her will make no difference given that she is around 28 yrs old.
I disagree.
Opal has never given anyone else 'the low nicker'.

He says that I should ride her now that I am 'into' spoiling her.
I laugh.
I think he is jealous that she 'talks' to me.

What about Opal?
Time will tell.


  1. Very interesting. I would suspect that the "low nicker" was special. Maybe something you and Opal should keep to yourselves? I think hubby may be a little jealous too.

  2. Awww..that's so cute..maybe you just have a way with Opal a little better than your husband!:)