Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blame It On Bleb

mule plowingI was all set to stop by the Shields Ethridge farm near Arcade, Georgia yesterday, but Bleb had other ideas.

He somehow contrived to leave the barn early that morning, and visited a neighbor’s tobacco-curing shed. I searched for him in his usual haunts – my wife’s garden, the fish pond, Happy Sal’s Dance Hall in town – but could not find him until the neighbor brought him back.

“Your mule has been in my curing shed,” the neighbor told me. “He ate a third of my tobacco crop.”

“I’m terribly sorry,” I said. “I’ll change the lock on the barn door. He’s figured this one out.”

“The crop was nearly cured, too.”

“Nearly – yes, Bleb can be somewhat impatient.”

“You owe me for that tobacco,” he said.

“I’m sorry, but I’m short of funds right now,” I replied. “Could my mule possibly work off the debt he incurred? It would serve him right.”

The farmer thought this was a reasonable solution, and so Bleb is spending his days plowing enough land to produce a replacement for what he ate. The farmer insisted he start right away, so we had to miss the mule festival at the Shields Ethridge farm. Bleb is duly chastened. He dearly loves a social gathering, especially if it involves others of his kind. I think he won’t make the same mistake again. At least until he figures out how to pick the new lock.

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