Sunday, January 25, 2009

Update on Mules

I forgot to give a hat-tip to Don Dulaney for the photo of Jim Dulaney with his mules. Jettie Dulaney, widow of Woodrow Dulaney (who was Jim's brother), provided the photo to Don. Don has been taking time out of his busy schedule to visit with several older relatives who have been very gracious in sharing their time, photos and stories with him.

Don said that Jim Dulaney usually called his mules Ider and Jim (yes, Jim, after himself). Jim was a mule trader and owned lots of mules.

I guess you could say that this has been Mule Week. First, the photo of the Robinson family with their mules, and then the photo of Jim Dulaney with his mules. The mule was the real "workhorse" of the Itawamba County farm, and were one of the most valuable pieces of property owned by families. In researching, I've come across dozens of chattel deeds where farmers would put their mules up for collateral in exchange for money to buy seeds and other necessities for making a crop.

A farming man in Itawamba County likely spent more time with his mule than he did with his wife and children. He learned to be wary when dealing with mules because, according to William Faulkner, "a mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once." Hat-tip to my husband for providing the Faulkner quote. I am not nearly as well-read.

1 comment:

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