You throw your lot in with animals, and they  die. This was a way of life I chose  with at least some experience of loss. Having to gather up an animal and shovel a hole, or gather deadfall and  garbage sufficient to burn the poor matte eyed dead thing. But it’s different with a mule, because  they’re always talking to you, and you know that they understand you  better than you understand them. I thought when they arrived here  we would start them on a process of recovery from being treated like machinery, that we would fix their diets so they weren’t guaranteed a progressive diabetes-like death, but we were ultimately uninformed on the subject. Mules are an antiquarian thing. When I woke up Thursday morning and looked through the storm windows someone installed on our back porch-bedroom, Jack was dead. I could see it just lifting my fat ass out of bed: that stretched out, given up thing that we are strangely not resolved upon as death.

The worst is, when it’s your fault. I think Jack got something from the fair. When we were loading them into the truck, Jack and Fred both told me that something was wrong. Then, we went to visit them at the fair, and Jack was depressed. I didn’t listen to them, and I let them go.

I fucked up.