A long-awaited meeting

Mom will be here soon for our fancy evening of dinner and a play, but I have HUGE NEWS!

It was a day we have ALL been waiting for. For about a year and a half!



Today I went home to do some home-things. Home is about 45 minutes from here. You have to come down from the mountains and drive through a little town and then through a lot of nothing and THEN you are at my parents’ house.

First I got to spend some Nephew-time. He was playing with some Lego-like bricks and some trains and explained to me that Cranky the Train was so-named because he CRANKED things, not because he was annoyed. I told him I was Cranky the Amy, and he said, “NO, Aunt Amy!”

Then he had to go back to his dad’s house so they could run errands and The Nephew was all “NO NO NO I WANT TO PLAY!” and I hugged him and tickled him and kissed his little fists of fury and made him smile and they left and then Dad and I searched through the whole house for some things I was looking for and were ultimately successful (but not before a humorous misunderstanding where he thought a stuffed bear was a cat and was tearing a room apart looking for something under a bear when I was like, “DAD, I said it was in this box with the cat on the side?” and he was like “THIS IS A CAT!” and I was like, “Or a bear, but they’re both mammals, I suppose” and he was all “grumble grumble.”

Then we went to visit my grandmother. Grandmothers get tinier every time you see them. That is a very sad thing. We talked for a while and then it was time to visit Dad’s garden to see if the varmints ate it. They did not! Yay for no varmints!


On the way to Rooster’s house, Dad said, “You’d better not call that thing a Helper Mule, I think it’s just a mule. I don’t want you to hurt his feelings.” So the whole way I was all, “Hi sir, thank you for letting me visit your mule.” Dad was all, “What are you doing?” And I said “Practicing so I don’t say ‘HELPER MULE!!!’ in front of him and EMBARRASS YOU!” and Dad rolled his eyes.

At Rooster’s house, there are many animals. First, there was a happy red coonhound. He was not very old, and he didn’t understand that you were not supposed to jump or bite. (Not bite HARD. Just kind of a puppy mouthy bite. But I said “You stop that, happy red dog!” and he totally did. Animals like me. And it is mutual.)

There was also a pen of clucky chickens. They went “buck buck buck!” and the happy red dog bashed gleefully into the wire at them but couldn’t get to them and they rolled their chickeny eyes at him.

Then there was a pen with two beagle puppies in it! Well, I think more beagle tweens. They were a little older than puppies. One was lighter and had amber eyes and one was traditional dark black/white/tan. I was madly in love with them and they went “haroooo!” because that’s what beagles do. I petted them for a very long time through the wire and they licked my fingers most happily and pounced on each other and went “haroo! Haroo!” and I laughed and laughed. (Beagles are my first favorite type of dog ever, closely followed by pit bulls. We raised beagles growing up and I have the best memories of beagles.)


Rooster and Mrs. Rooster and Rooster’s grandson and some girl I didn’t know and Dad and I all went to the barn.

First in the barn, there was…



Rooster’s grandson caught one and it said “WEE WEE WEEEEE” and did not like that but that meant I got to pet it. It was bristly and scratchy and had little clacky hooves and when he put it down it ran away super-fast.

Then…what was on the other side of the barn?



His name is Chief!

At first, he was shy. Mrs. Rooster could touch him, but he was scared of me. “I will Helper Mule whisper you!” I thought at him furiously. “JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE!”

Rooster’s grandson let me feed Chief some hay. He ate the hay, but then backed off again. Then Mrs. Rooster let me feed him some carrots. He ate those carrots more crunchily. Then he realized maybe this new lady might be a food source and wasn’t so scared of me. THEN I got to feed him OATS, and, well, that cemented our growing friendship.

Rooster and Mrs. Rooster and Dad were talking about many things, and while they were being social, I spent much time with Helper Mule.

I took many photos. There was one of me with him, but Dad took it, and it is highly unflattering. It will stay lost to the ages.







Then it was time to go home, and Rooster said I could come back ANY TIME, and also offered to sell me Helper Mule for only $8,000, or for free if I gave him my family’s top-secret Michigan sauce recipe. I declined because I didn’t want to get excommunicated from my family. (But I did want to own Helper Mule. We had made fast friends. And when I was leaving, he walked out of the barn-area and watched me go with sad mule-eyes.)

Also, Helper Mule was quite tall, and furry, and dusty, and his nose was soft, and his eyes were kind.

Dad said everyone at Rooster’s house isn’t always that happy, and I said, “do you think my irrepressible charm got to them?” and he said, “Yes, actually, I do” and I liked that.


When I got home, I had to wash my hands a lot. Dad was all, “DON’T YOU TOUCH ANYTHING! YOU ARE FILTHY WITH MULE!”

It was a very successful day. And I totally whispered him. “Be good and be nice and don’t get in trouble, most wonderful Helper Mule,” I said to my new friend. “Someday I will come back to see you and we will have the best of times.”

And he wisely nodded his helpful head.

When I was whispering him, he said to tell ALL the internettians hello.


Happy rest-of-your-days, people! I have to go get pretty and wash the rest of the mule off me for a night of thee-ay-tah. Back tomorrow with MORE adventures!

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

15 responses to “A long-awaited meeting

  • sortaginger

    Wee spotted piglets! Awww!

    “You are filty with mule!” may be my new favorite phrase, or at least my phrase of the week.


  • sj

    Finally, HI #HelperMule!


  • cynthiaw

    Yay for irrepressible charm! And for happy Helper Mule! And for not getting excommunicated from your family just to get a mule. Even if that mule is awesome-sauce.


  • becomingcliche

    Helper Mule is actually rather beautiful!

    And what kind of pigs were those? Spotted little darlings!


    • lucysfootball

      Isn’t he a handsome mule? I kind of wanted to bring him home. He could live in my bathroom, right?

      I don’t know what kind of pigs they were! Mom did (she grew up on a farm) and said the spots mostly go away when they grow up.


  • poetlandia

    Helper mule is gorgeous! And I knew you would helper mule whisper him. I knew it. Because you are the mule whisperer.


  • Corvidae in the Fields

    I like how you exasperate your father. It’s like a comedy routine.


  • Heather

    HELPER MUUUUUULE! I’m so excited that you finally got to meet him! Woooooo!

    My family raised pigs a few times when I was a kid. We needed the money and we got lots of pork-stuff when they went off to the butcher. They were the most wonderful as piglets, and the most HUGE as adult pigs. We named them after aunts and uncles and TV characters (like Miss Piggy and Kermit). When the first group went off to the butcher, my father made me promise not to tell my sister where our resulting bacon and other porkish things came from. (I am an animal lover and it bothered me a bit, but it would have destroyed my sister.)

    Then one morning we were eating breakfast, bacon included, when my sister said something to me that really pissed me off (we didn’t really start getting along well until we were in our 20s). I looked her right in the face and said, “Oh yeah? Well YOU’RE eating Aunt Judi! And last weekend you were probably eating Miss Piggy! So shut up!”

    Ahem. Oops. She became a vegetarian for about a year, and she was mad at my parents for a good month. Heh. I got in pretty big trouble, but I still think it was worth it. I’m terrible.


    • lucysfootball

      We had pigs, too. I loved the piglets, but once they got big, I was all “eh, bacon time.” I’m pretty practical about meat. Except once I ate what I thought was chicken and it had buckshot in it and it was really quail. GROSS.


%d bloggers like this: