ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ole Pete and Rosebud a comin' at you again!
My mule Rosebud told me this mornin' she wanted to get her a burial plot. Yeah, I know it sounds strange, but that's what she said. I learned awhile back not to take everthing she says to heart. First thing that run through my mind was that she was jokin' me. But then I saw she wasn't so I thought, well, maybe she's got the blues or somethin'. But that ain't it either. I can always tell when somethin's the matter with her. So, then I got to wonderin' if she just brought it up to see what I'd say. Sometimes she does that. Not this time, though. No, I could tell that this time she was in earnest. About the time I get to thinkin' she's settlin' down and gonna be a reg'lar mule like everbody else, she does somethin' plum odd like this.
Then I happened to remember that Memorial Day is comin' up. Now, don't get me wrong. It don't have to be Memorial Day for people to think about gettin' 'em a graveyard plot. It's just that the day kinda points up rememberin' them that's passed on and how we ain't none of us gonna live forever, if you know what I mean. But lots of folks get burial plots without it bein' any kind of special day. Some even go to the funeral home and pick 'em out a coffin and everthing. They get everthing all set up and then they don't have to take care of nothin' after they pass on. But you'll take note that I said "folks" back there. I didn't say mules. I ain't never heard of a mule gettin' a graveyard plot.
The problem with Rosebud, she don't think of herself as bein' a mule. The only people she knows is human bean type people. All her friends is human beans. Oh, there's a couple of mules, a cow or two, maybe half a dozen dawgs she says howdy to in passin', but that ain't the same as bein' friends. She don't go down and play cards with none of the cows. She might say a few words to one or another of the dawgs, them bein' the ones she sees most often, but she don't think of herself as bein' like them. The only real friends she's got is me and ole Denver. Her and ole Denver is real close.
I didn't hardly know what to say when she started talkin' about a burial plot. My first thought, after I knowed she was serious, was to make light of it. The whole thing just seemed funny. That happens to me. You say somethin' real serious to me, somethin' I don't want to talk about, and these funny things start flittin' through my mind. I can't help it.
The thing that run through my head this time was that I ort to tell her I wasn't gonna bury her atall. What with the cost of funerals these days, I'd thought about it and decided I was gonna take her to one of them taxidermists and have her stuffed. Maybe I'd have her set up like she's rarin' up on her hind laigs. You know, like one of them horses in the old time pitcher shows. That way, if she had her front legs stickin' out, I could use her as a coat rack. She could go through eternity doin' somethin' useful.
Then I thought, no, I'll tell her I'm gonna skin her and tan her hide. I'll take it to that saddle maker over in town and have him make me a nice saddle for my new mule. Maybe I could have him put some little rosebuds around on it. That'd be a nice touch, don't you think?
Or, maybe I could leave the hair on it and make a fur coat out of her. Ever time I put it on, I'd think about her lookin' down on me from her perch up there in mule heaven. Or maybe I'd take it to town and sell it to some rich lady. Yeah, I could tell her that she was a mink.
Mind you, these was just things runnin' through my head. I wasn't sayin' none of it out loud. The fact that I'm still alive is proof of that. But this kind of thinkin' is a real problem with me. Sometimes I think I'm odder'n Rosebud is.
And I've still got the problem with the graveyard plot. I reckon people would get up in arms if I was to stake out a plot for a mule in a human bean graveyard. If it was me, I wouldn't care, but everbody ain't like me. Some people is partic'lar about who they're buried next to. I guess if I could have my druthers, I'd be buried up yonder on that little rise in the pasture, up in under that big spreadin' oak tree. That's a purty place. They could put me under that tree, maybe wrap me up in a blanket to take the chill off, and let that ole oak feed off my carcass. I mean, I'd be done with it. I wouldn't need it no more and that would be a good use for it.
Maybe that's what we can do. Maybe me and her and ole Denver can all three stake us off a little patch up there. When the time comes to shake off these mortal bonds, we can be laid away under that big oak. People could come and set under the tree and have picnics, maybe think good thoughts about us. That'd be grand, now wouldn't it?
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