When we lived in New Zealand, we didn't use the term 'blue collar.' The rural society we traveled in had more of an Us (the landed gentry) and Them (those who made it possible for them to be gentry) classification. I guess as farm managers we were one of Them, and I'll confess it chafed a bit.
Over here, being blue collar is just fine. Maybe its the laid back way of the west, but it sure doesn't matter if you go to the grocery store in grubby work clothes. Here, we stare if someone wears a suit or heels (unless it's Sunday, a wedding or a funeral.)
I like the fact that we work hard and honest and go to bed knowing we made a difference. If we weren't on the job, the animals would go hungry, the grass would shrivel up and the fences would remain unmended.
But what does this have to do with the handsome animal at the top of this post? Well, he's my latest blue collar blessing. For many years I've longed for a mule, and Danny came to me by the sweetest of serendipity's.
I accidently clicked onto Dreamhorse.com one night (of course, it was bookmarked on my computer but I honestly wasn't going to look at mules that night.) But, since I was there I did end up looking at mules and Danny had just been listed. He's just the sort of mule I'd dreamed of,
well trained, experienced and personable. I'm looking forward to exploring our neck of Camp Sherman.
But back to the blue collar thing. Mules have always excelled at working, they get the job done without fuss, unless a fuss is called for, and they have a great capacity for fun and adventure.
I was riding with my friend the other day, who was on a high-class Friesian. Now don't get me wrong, Friesians are the most beautiful horses to look at, the're fun to ride and the ones I work with always smell good. Kind of like some people...
Danny is generally a sensible mule or has been so far in our short acquaintance. But that day he just couldn't cope with this fancy Friesian doing a dressage movement (the passage, for those of you who know dressage) in his peripheral vision. Every time the Friesian would passage, Danny would shot off to the right, as if trying to get some space between his blue collar self and this pretentious fancy-pants. It was somewhat funny, in hindsight, though it's not too funny to be on a mule who's unhappy.
Here's Danny, off to explore his new home.
Danny is now getting settled into the pasture at Camp Sherman. The horses he'll live with aren't fancy, but they're a bit shy of blue collar. More like what we'd call 'dole bludgers,' those who depend on welfare but don't do a lick of work.
Oops, Katie got left behind.
I suppose Danny will fall into that group as he moseys around the grass and trees, sniffing the air and drinking the pure water of the Metolius. But every now and again, he'll work for his dinner and we'll all go to bed happy.