It was Saturday of seven in the mornin’ time when Dustin rang me on my cellular phone. Beyond a good mornin’ howdy, he attested "they’re a comin’ at ten" and followed off by requestin’ a pot full of my chili juice for their lunch. Seems "they’re" a group of his friends comin’ for a Saturday of rabbit huntin’ at Potter’s Mud Creek Farm.
Followin’ our conversin’, I started assemblin’ a batch of my chili juice for Dustin and his friends noon-time consumption. Shore‘nuf, just as the clock at the cabin hit on ten a.m., trucks with gooseneck trailers and dog boxes started showin’ up. The rabbit-huntin’ folk unloaded four pretty mules and one saddle horse. They saddled up the mules and horse, gathered their guns and turned out part of their pack of beagle dogs.
Dustin appeared shortly, put on his hunter orange vest, loaded his shotgun and headed out on foot with his armed, rabbit-huntin’ buddies, four mules, one horse and a pack of yeppin’, scurrin’, tail-waggin’ beagle dogs. Here I put the finishin’ parts of my chili juice and trimmins’ together, and readied for the rabbit-huntin’ party’s return for lunch, while Joyce worked on cabin organization and eatin’ setup.
About two hours later, they showed up back at The Cabin with five rabbits danglin’ from their mule’s sides, four mules, one horse, a pack of tired beagle dogs, and six weary, tired and hungry hunters.
Here the rabbit-huntin’ party readied for lunch and quickly polished off near three gallons of my chili juice with cheddar cheese topical, saltines, Pepsi Colas and some fine roasted pecans.
Durin’ the lunch session, Joyce and I went outside to visit the mules. Each mule and even the big horse carried a full-tuckerness as they was actual laid up against the trailers.
As Joyce and I admired the beautiful well-trained rabbit-huntin’, ridin’ mules, I started recallin’ and recollectin’ ‘bout "my mule memories" through the years. My Daddy, "Pop" C.C., talked lots about breakin’ young mules and had scars to prove it. He offered fond memories of mule pairs through his early farmin’ years—-Kate and Hat, Dean and Danner, Maude and Pearl plus others. He also taught me ‘bout directional calls for drivin’ mule teams like "gee and haw."
I remember in my early years on the farm in fall at harvest time of walkin’ and pullin’ corn, I got the down corn rows b’hind a pair of mules and wagon. This was before we had a mechanical corn snapper that would take the whole ear off the corn stalk.
I also have lots of special memories through the years ‘bout different mule men and their teams in and around Flat Rock, C.C. Smith, Mt. Hope, Wolf Springs, LaGrange and Hatton. Mule men like Kyle Smith, Virgil Moore, Earl and Hubert Landers, Mr. Bendall, Royce Smith, Leroy Kiser and Mr. Goodloe. Mr. Lum Odem of Saint Jose, TN, and my great-uncle James Masterson of Flat Rock, and later Tennessee, were true, lifetime dedicated mule men. Course, there are other mule men who fall short of my current thinkin’ and recollection’.
As Joyce and I moved ‘round back of The Cabin, Dustin and the rabbit-huntin’ party exited and moved back t’ward rested animals intendin’ on another round of afternoon rabbit huntin’.
It was our turn at the chili juice settlins’, with cheddar cheese topical, saltines, sweet tea and some fine roasted pecans.
REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE!!! ALWAYS, THINK GOOD MEMORIES!!!
The rabbit-huntin’ party finished off Saturday afternoon with eight rabbits total, a passel of tired animals and six very weary, tired, hunters, who additional had enjoyed some fine dinner-vittles at Potter’s Mud Creek Farm.