I was somewhat up and at ’em this morning. Well, as up and at ’em as I ever am for a non-morning person. Out the door at 6:40, headed to work on time and in good form. And this is the point where all of my plans for the day went awry.
At about the halfway point in our rather long driveway, I suddenly see our mule, Ferris Muler, coming in through my front gate at a rather brisk trot. Note the words “COMING IN.” He trotted past my Jeep, glanced at me rather sheepishly (a sheepish mule?) and proceeded around the side of the house toward our pasture. I now know what it feels like to be the parent of a teenager who is caught coming home well past curfew and I have no idea how my “teenager” got out in the first place.
Start your day with the best of intentions. Add one errant mule. Throw getting to work in a timely manner out the window and go round up said mule. Fun!
Ferris is a great mule. Ferris is also a very large mule and he is not a creature you can force to do anything he doesn’t particularly want to do. He does everything in his own sweet time. I have found that you can’t try to rush him or something that you think should take 10 minutes will easily turn into two hours of frustration. This is a creature that likes to think things through. Study a situation. Weigh his options.
So I walked right past Ferris, issuing nothing more than a nonchalant good morning. Reverse psychology at its finest. I headed straight into the barn and proceeded to feed the other horses in the pasture. This caught Mr. Always-up-for-a-meal’s attention and he came to within 20 feet of the barn, eyes locked on me and extra-large ears swiveling with my every move.
I continued to ignore him, but left the gate into his pasture open with an enticing bucket of feed within sight. After about five minutes of giving it some serious consideration–after all, the grass in this case is actually a good deal greener on the other side of the fence–Ferris opted for the bucket of sweet feed and passed unceremoniously through the gate.
At this point I am running 20 minutes late, I am slightly sweaty, my hair that was washed and smoothed is now frizzy, and my shoes and feet have been soaked by the heavy morning dew. I maKe the trek back to my Jeep to once again attempt to get to work. As I pulled the rest of the way up the driveway and out of my front gate, I couldn’t help but wonder where in the world Ferris spent his night out.
I may have a neighbor or two who could fill in some of the details, but I don’t think I’m going to ask around. That’s just inviting trouble, isn’t it? So Ferris Muler’s escapades will likely remain a mystery and I am once again taught that farm life often operates outside of all plans and schedules. You just take a deep breath, slap that frizzy hair in a pony tail, and go with the flow.
A note to Ferris: If you’re planning to go out again tonight, at least stop by the house and take me with you. If I’m going to be a mess at work again tomorrow, I’d like a good story to go with it. I can just hear it now…a mule and a gal with frizzy hair walk into a bar…