Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Mule's Tale, for Children

Gather round, children, and I'll tell you a tale
Of a mule and the hope that he carries.
No diamond hitch, pack saddle or trail
Weighed on that mule like the gold he'd seen buried.

When still but a foal, he'd left dam and sire
For life with a drunken prospector.
Into the foothills and Italy Pass, higher
The pair climbed with canned food and a metal detector.

The Sierra rose high above talus-strewn walls
A still blue lake full of trout lay below.
Pines lined the trailside, where gold eagles called
And the mule kept his young eye on the crow.

One fine day- bonanza! A thick vein of ore
Fell open before the old man's pick.
He danced with the mule, then hit the bar door
And came back two days older and three times as sick.

He spent his last days picking for treasure
And digging to hide wealth beneath stone
'Til some bad homemade whiskey, drunk in full measure
Stilled the old man, leaving the young mule alone.

Dead man and live mule were finally found
By some packers bringing tourists to spectate.
The prospector they left to rot above ground
Beneath an aulde-looking tombstone marked with an earlier date.

Now the mule carries children, mothers, lawyers and such
To Italy Pass, filled with pine, history and bear
But he still has his dream of the gold, not too much,
But it hold's a drunk's fortune which he's eager to share.

BONANZA, n. A rich lode of metal ore, or any rich discovery easily traded for cheap liquor and low companions.

Happy birthday, Brer Mule!

Update:  Jenn's birthday wish for Mule made me nostalgic.  Y'all remember this?

16 comments:

Jim said...

A Mule's Tale, for Children: this is the story slanted for children. There are thousands of mule bones and skeletons lining the White Pass out of skagway.
We traveled up the pass on the White Pass Railroad train, those poor mules didn't have a chance.

Of course a lot did make it with their miner 'friends' who were intent upon staking a claim to their fortune during Klondike Gold Rush.

Such is a Mules Tale in the Real Life.
..
Did I make 'first comment?'
..

jenn said...

Wow the Mule hit the bonanza with a birthday ode!

Oooh drunken treasure! Sweet.

Happy birthday not-so-old-but-getting-older-Mule.

TLP said...

Great poem!

I got nothing for bonanza. I just checked out yesterday's post and comments. What Nessa said is so wonderful that I may never have courage to comment again.

the amoeba said...

Happy Birthday, Mule! But, I always thought bonanzas were for Hosses. Speaking of nostalgia ...

quilly said...

Happy Birthday, Mule.

Amoeba started it ....

As a wee child I used to cry and carry on about having to go to bed when it came time to watch, "Bananaza," but to bed they sent me.

We lived in a big, old Victorian house with a wide, curved staircase. The wall jutted out just a bit at the top of the staircase and I would sit there, three or four steps down, and gleefully peek around the edge and watch, "Bananaza." My brothers and sisters gathered round, too. One night while perched on my step, leaning just a bit forward to see 'round the corner, I fell asleep.

"Fell" is an action word, and it acted on me. I tumbled down the stairs -- my brother and sisters chasing after to "catch the baby". And that ended ALL stealth television watching. Dad put a mirror up over the TV so he could view "Bananaza" and the staircase, too.

Nessa said...

I think maybe I shouldn't comment today so I don't show anyone what a fluke yesterday was, except to say happy birthday to Mule.

(And Doug - They were only playing a childish game, were they not?)

pia said...

Happy birthday Mule!

Wow that made me nostalgic--the days when MizzyB actually posted and commented (sometimes) the Alphabet Girl was Alice, Neva and Joel actually blogged and so on

Hate being nostalgic about blogging. Have been all day so....

tsduff said...

A whicker or two to the young birthday mule
Who like TLP said isn't old
With life moving on
Both behind and in front
Here's hope to your
Finding that gold.

Bonanza - Finding a pot of gold in the fairy gardens...

actonbell said...

Bonanza--lots of food. LOTS of food.
Happy bday, Mule:)

Anonymous said...

Bonanza--Global riches send to Wall Street,then traded for a cheap drunk
Disease--Those who believe in the power of money over the power of love
Duck-Bill--Donald and friends Goofy and Pluto
Peace and birthday toasts for all

Jamie Dawn said...

Happy B-day, Mule!

Bonanza: a chocolate mother lode.

Ariel the Thief said...

Happy Birthday, Mule! You do well, very well.

cooper said...

ah jackpots and crackpots. It's too late for me.
Happy belated birthday Mule.

Bonanza: The cheap chain steak house my father ate at all through college, or so legend has it.

Doug said...

You made the first comment, Jim. I suppose if the mules rode the train and the tourists clumb the pass, the bones would have been smaller but just as thick.

Jenn, drunken treasure is the liveliest kind.

TLP, we all have to move forward. Even Hillary.

Yeah, that takes me back, too, Amoeba.

Your dad was wise for that. My parents' tv faced away from the door to the tv room so to watch contraband, I had to make a full 120-degree arc to get behind the couch. I rarely made it and on the occasions I did, I suspect condescension. BUT! That was how I discovered Police Woman and Angie Dickinson who have never left me.

Nessa, we're all very proud. Take a bow.

Pia, way back yonder when Bush was President and we were older.

Terry, I understand fairy gardens are the new Virginia City.

Not beer, A-bell?

Bear, money and love are more current than you'd think.

Trufftacular, JD.

Amen, Ariel.

Cooper, I remember those places. Did your dad go to Northwestern?

actonbell said...

Nah, they never seem to serve beer at smorgagboards.Smorg--whatever.

weirsdo said...

BONANZA is one of Dr. Weirsdo's favorites. He and Toyplayer frequently play it, but in Toyplayer's version, the bad guys are actually Voldawks (the race of killer aliens he's invented) in disguise.