Last week I was feeding the mules, and Fred decided he was going to kick everyone’s ass at the trough, the way he always does.

Most days I let the mules resolve this themselves.

Kate usually takes a position opposite a metal sheathed door and kicks it to warn Fred off her bucket, but despite the impressive sound, Fred is not impressed.

There was a huge fight last Friday, and I decided to intervene, brandishing a stick.

Rain the preceding evening had created a deep slurry of shit and mud, and I slipped in this mix just as I was telling Fred I would be fucked if I let him hog everyone’s feed. I broke my fall with my arm and heard the characteristic pop-pop of the tendons letting go of the head of the radius and olecranon of ulna.

My first words before getting back up, grabbing the stick and chasing Fred for about twenty yards before nearly passing out were “Alright you son of a bitch, you’ve fucked this arm up, let’s see if I can kill your ass with the good one.”

The mules in their wisdom scattered in a number of directions, and I rediscovered the truth of an ages old maxim: You will never fucking catch a mule with a stick.

Especially not with one arm dangling uselessly at your side.

I had just managed to learn home acupuncture techniques adequately to dramatically reduce the pain of a six year old back injury. Friday night, lying with my arm bound over my head with an Ace bandage, I began to count off the six years it will probably take for home acupuncture to have any effect on the alarming and troubling pain of this particular injury.

After about three hours of suffering and wondering if a mule skin might be used to upholster a sofa, my body mercifully allowed me to drop off into a deep sleep. In my dreams I awoke to find my arm vastly improved, and I was just about to tell my wife she was wrong about how painful Saturday was going to be when I woke up to the most painful Saturday of my life, to date.

“I’ll fix breakfast” She said. “You are going to be useless for awhile.”

“Are you sure you won’t need help? I want an omelet and Fred’s goddamn face.”

I said this, even though I knew everything was my fault, and I was lucky I didn’t break my neck, and that I will likely die doing something equally stupid when I’m much frailer that will appear side-splittingly funny to onlookers until my sides actually split and I run off in psychotic pursuit of some bastard animal, trailing my own guts.

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