Oral Histories

Jim & Nellie McPherson

Punch & Punch           Punch was a pack and work mule, tricky, but fun. Judy was a genie mule, taller than Punch. They worked well together.


Little Red            A little red mule Budge gave Jim. Really good to pack and followed like a dog.

Isac                     And then there was Isac. He was a good pack mule, kind of hard to load sometimes. Jim wanted to pack some boards off the mountain to the ranch. He cut them to certain length, but every time one of those boards touched Isac’s neck he’d throw them off. We spent all morning getting loaded and finally got them down. Another time Jim took him to the farm to get the heavy block and tackle and a couple of cases of fruit. He got up the hill into the Brush Hole. Isac had had enough. He jerked away, bucked and got the tackle under his belly and stopped, but not until about half of the jars of fruit were thrown out. Jim gathered up the mules and come on to camp. He led well. We went back in the pickup, gathered up the tackles and not one jar of fruit was broken. They landed top-side up in the brush. One time we were going to the winter camp. Jim was riding a half broke horse and leading Isac. He came to a little ditch at the lower end of the ranch and Isac wouldn’t jump across. He pulled back and loose. He took off up the canyon. Jim took my horse to catch him. He said, “I cut off his head with my dull pocket knife.” When he caught up with Isac, he reached into his pocket for his knife. I thought He really won’t try that. The throat latch had gotten caught some place and was choking him a little. He led like a good mule after that.

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