We have seven children at home and temporarily (finally and thankfully) one mule tied to a post. Children and my mule is what is on my mind. If you haven't guessed this I don't prepare for these posts. I just write what is in my head (if you read yesterday you will recall the naked elves...who would keep that in except someone who was just writing off the cuff).
Let me tell you about our mule. She was a surprise. She was born over six years ago to our mare Princess. She was Princess' first baby but we had no idea she was coming. At the time we had a donkey named Noah. Noah was smaller than Princess and Robin (our other mare at the time). He had been around the mares for a few years. Shannon bought him at a sale because he felt sorry for him (there was a mean-looking dude bidding on him). We never thought much about the possibility of a mule (I still don't think much about it by the way).
When our mule was born we were renting a house on a farm southeast of where we're at right now. The horses were kept in a lot east of our house. I drove past the lot one afternoon (I did this daily) and slammed on the brakes. There was a baby mule standing by Princess. I named her ZuuZuu because of the stripes on her legs.
We were so excited.....for a time.
Mules are totally different animals than horses.
There are stubborn horses, but they are nothing compared to a mule. When you say someone is as stubborn as a mule you are saying they are stubborn to the point of being stupid, stubborn to the point of they'd rather cut off their arm or hand or anything (yes, even that) rather than do what you want them to do...
We've tried through the years to work with ZuuZuu. But since it wasn't a priority she's been wild this whole time. Oh, she'd take treats. She'd even let me pet her. But if a rope came near her she was off.
Another thing about mules -- they are strong and have incredible endurance. These are some of the reasons some people prefer mules. They are also very smart. They won't overeat like a horse will. They are self-sustaining almost. ZuuZuu always looks good -- never too thin or fat even in the winter when it is hard for them to keep weight on because of the cold.
She is going to have a new home now because I made a deal with our vet. A geld job for her. So, we had to train her.
We got her in the pen my husband built. And he lassoed her. He then proceeded to work with her as he does horses sometimes (though usually he just uses the pen with no rope). She ran around that pen for over two hours. She was sweating but she wouldn't give at all. This mule has NEVER been mistreated, never hit, only given love and gentleness her whole life. BUT, she refused to even look at Shannon. Her head was up and whenever she stopped she turned her butt to him.This is an attack position because her back legs are powerful.
This went on and on. No progress. Nothing.
Finally, we did the only thing we could do. We left her out there tied to the post. The next morning she still hadn't given at all. She was still fighting as much as she did. So, we left her. Yesterday morning she gave a bit. But not really.
Yesterday afternoon I went out there and wow -- she finally made the choice to work with us humans. She let me put my arm around her. She let me pet her everywhere. She let me hug her tight.....it was a choice. And when she made that choice she could experience our love.
It brought tears to my eyes. I am so blessed even now. It is a gift to see someone finally give who has fought and fought and fought her whole life.
I've been like that with God. He's had to tie me to a post because I wouldn't give with all his gentle methods.
ZuuZuu is still tied to the post (she has room to walk now -- don't think it is torture) because we want to make sure this change is permanent, but she will get off soon. We are so happy, happy, happy with her.
I can see how God can rejoice over one sinner who finally repents.
I've been that sinner.....
The title of this blog is children and mules -- the children part comes in because that is the other thing on my mind -- my children, specifically one of them. Out of the seven living with us right now all but one can talk to me. The one who can't .....well, God has given me ways to pray for this child. I will keep loving this child and doing what I can, but work has to be done within. Parents, sometimes we have to just pray and love and parent how our children need us to parent them (even when they don't like it) and they will come around. It might take years, even decades, but they will.
I thought you all would like to see a couple of pictures of our ZuuZuu: