HISTORY OF TWO LEGEND MULES
In 1928 W.L. Smith bought two young mules (untrained), bay color with sorrel manes and tails, almost identical. Jack Massengil, and laborer, trained them. In 1930 W.L. Smith bought another pair of young mules (all mare mules), bay color with sorrel manes and tails, which almost matched the first pair. In 1936 lightning struck a large oak tree where all four mules were standing; one in each pair were killed. The two left were matched and paired and worked together. They were 15 to 16 hands high and weighed 1600 pounds - stout, strong, and obedient animals. After 1958 they only did light work like garden and truck patches and light loads in wagons. Their last ten years of life were leisure ones, grazing of good pasture, eating best sweet feed and crushed corn, and drinking fresh water. In 1970 Kate (the older one born in 1928) had a stroke (cerebral hemorrhage), wallowing in a circle until she went into a deep gully. Dr. Jordan, the veterinarian, came and put her to sleep. She was buried near the barn, and dogwoods, elm, and cedars protected her grave. In 1972 Mag (mate to Kate), after grieving her mate, became thin and wouldn’t graze, eat, or hardly drink water. She had a stroke (cerebral hemorrhage) like Kate and in the same place and worked herself off in the same gully. Again Dr. Jordan came and put her to sleep. We had the grave digger come and bury her. Fentress Casey and a funeral director from Memphis came out along with several neighbors. They said we were more concerned over the death and burial of an old legend mule than some human beings over their family members. Tears and more tears. The markers with name, age, and date of death are in the barn gear room.
Leather harness and bridles belonging to Kate and Mag hang on a rack where it has been kept all these years, 42 years in Mule 120 years in man. Kate born 1928 died in 1970, age 42 years. Mag born in 1930 died in 1972 age 42 years. Ellis Brooks kept our mules shod, groomed, and gave physical check ups. The last ten years Kate and Mag’s hooves wouldn’t hold nails for shoes, and we kept them trimmed and treated.
Jack Massengill, Tick Massengill, Rufus Trice, and Ed Davis used mules to plow
with. During the 1920's the farm had 8 team of mules (mare), all bay with
sorrel manes and tails.
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