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!
It was HELPER MULE DAY!
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!
THEN IT WAS HELPER MULE TIME!
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.)
THEN IT WAS TIME TO GO TO THE BARN!
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…
BABY PIGS! WEE PIGLETS!
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.
So HELLO FROM THE HELPER MULE NAMED CHIEF!
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!