Poetry of Kansas

A Plea for the Mule

In history and poetry, in music and in art
The horse has been a favored beast and played a
          leading part,
And while I don't begrudge him the fame that he
          has won,
There's been too little said about his sister's long
          eared son.
 
We praise the foaming charger and weave him in a
          song,
But how about the humble beast that hauls the grub
          along?
He snakes the heavy cannon o'er muddy field and
          road
And is never known to whimper or complain about
          his load.
 
In times of peace as well as war the mule is not a
          shirk.
When Dobbin takes a balky spell, it's Jasper does
          the work.
In many ways he proves himself much wiser than
          the steed
He never takes an overdose of water or of feed;
And should he chance to run away when by ambition
          fired,
He always makes his dash with care and stops be-
          fore he's tired.
 
I know there is a prejudice against this humble beast
But those who hold him with disdain are they that
          know him least.
Investigate his record with a calm, unbiased mind
And you will find, as I have found, that he has been
          maligned.
For even men who hold him up to scorn and ridicule
Might learn a wholesome lesson from the humble,
          patient mule.

__Albert Stroud.

 

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Page 102

 
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November 8, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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