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One More Thank You to "Gray Bones,"

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

This mule resembles "Gray Bones," but sadly is not her.

This mule resembles "Gray Bones," but sadly is not her.

When You Are Young

doesn't it make sense for resentment and hatred to be so new, alive, and refreshing? Then in the latter years of life, these same feelings grow dull, but nonetheless very dangerous and very poison.

I first encountered these dark feelings at the age of 12. First I was terrified to feel such awful feelings in my spirit, but the more that I kept looking so intently at these "monsters," the more I wanted to run completely away and off the surface of the earth.

Of course, this was a childish fantasy.

I was raised in a quiet Christian home and of my two parents, my mother was my guiding hand who taught me several of the meanings of the things that I had met and how I was to live after they were gone.

I thought that this day would never arrive. And for many more years of anguish, pain, and depression, they grew deeper into my spirit and I almost became use to their urges that they gave me when others would talk about harm and criticism about me, because I was just a simple-minded youngster with no formal or technical teaching on how to deal with the feelings that were always evident.

This is Dedicated to "Gray Bones," our Mule

my very first best friend. Nothing odd about a kid having an animal as a best friend.

A lot of kids have dogs, cats, even fawns as dear friends, so I was okay and safe while "Grey Bones" was with my family and me. If you are a non-believer of thinking such as this one, I owe you no apology, because if I believe it, isn't that all that really matters?

First, let's get a few things straight. "Gray Bones," was not a pack mule. She was born to work in the corn and cottonfields where my family and I grew up in northwest Alabama, Marion County, to be exact. "Gray Bones" did not do races such as the Kentucky Derby or those steeple chases and I do not think that these are wrong, it's just that I believe that people, things, and animals, fish, and fowls are where they belong. Mankind is the only creation that craved and did achieve equality among other races on earth.

With our mule, we had no such trouble. Just a fantastic day's work from our mule and when I would talk to her and tell her thanks for doing a great job, she would look me directly into my eyes and bob her head up and down as her way of saying thanks. At least that's what she and I believed and we talked this way.

"Gray Bones" was neither Democrat or Republican. It did not matter who was in The White House just as long as she could go out in any early morning and work until she was fed and with a little rest, she finished out her many days of good, solid work. By the way, my dad who loved to watch her plow, never did have to whip or scold her for anything. "Gray Bones" was one more good mule in my opinion.

"Gray Bones" stood tall, straight, and very majestic. And she was a great friend.

"Gray Bones" stood tall, straight, and very majestic. And she was a great friend.

Then The Day Came

when I was doing something in our house and my dad who had such a ritualistic way of doing things, was tending to "Gray Bones" as he always did and mom was cooking for the noon meal while my sister was talking to me about some subject that I did not care about, but I think that (and you have heard this) therein lies the problem.

"Gray Bones" lived in our barn on the property of Mrs. Vertie Dobbs, my dad's boss, as it were, and he was sharecropping her corn and cotton fields while my mom and I just went about our lives and seemingly (now) things were put into slow motion without any road sign of danger or caution.

I can tell you this that the last time that I spent the day before "Gray Bones" disappeared, was probably the best day that I had with her ever. At the day that I am sharing, it never occurred to me that she was gone. Some genius I was . It was not until a day or so until I asked where "Gray Bones" was. And asked in a very frantic fashion. You would also if it were your pet.

But no one, mom, dad, sister bothered to open their mouths to explain this mystery. I did cry a long time while I lay on my bed and wondered if I would ever see "Gray Bones," my treasured friend again.

I didn't.

55 years later, I still wonder where she went.

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There goes that "we learn more from pain thinking."

It don't.

January 18, 2021___________________________________________

URL's Posted Here Appear in Photos on This Hub.

This mule says it all.

This mule says it all.

© 2021 Kenneth Avery


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 19, 2021:

We grew up having cats and dogs, so I perfectly understand your love of Grey Bones. Did you ever find out why she disappeared? That was obviously a sad time for you. We have always mourned the loss of our pets.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 19, 2021:

What a lovely mule, Kenneth. Animals as friends are so good for children and indeed adults. They soothe and provide company without expecting anything in return. It's hard for a child to lose a pet. A dog we had was given to someone who had much more room for her to roam about - probably better for the labrador (whom I couldn't take for a walk because she pulled me over!) but I was heartbroken for years, though my parents tried to explain that she was happy. At least I knew she was alive and with someone kind.

You never forget those sort of things though, do you? Thanks for sharing your experience.

Hope you're keeping safe and well.


DW Davis from Eastern NC on January 19, 2021:


Your Hub brought back memories of the stories my granddaddy and dad used to tell me about the times when granddaddy was a sharecropper here in eastern NC. By the time I was old enough to work in the fields, it was all tractors and harvesters. I cannot help but feel I missed out on something, not having known what it was like to work a plow behind a mule as part of a team. My uncle's old John Deere never looked at me the way Grey Bones did you.

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