General Fiction posted April 6, 2019

This work has reached the exceptional level
How to deal with a mule

Ol' Bailey

by Gail Denham

Someone Else Contest Winner 
The log walls looked familiar. I'd seen them somewhere. Oh yes. Little house on the prairie.

But wait. Why was I here? I'd fallen asleep on the couch in my New York apartment. And now.

"Gramps, come quick. Ol' Bailey done broke the wagon again. Kicked the front right out of it." Rob Boy grabbed my hand.

Gramps? I was Gramps. In what life? And who was Ol' Bailey?

Reckon it was our mule, the stubborn beast we'd had for nigh on ten years. Hey. how did I know that?

Bailey mule had broke his traces clean off too. When Rob Boy and I finally caught up with the ill-begotten old fool, I saw he'd sliced the hide right off his back leg.

"Teach you right, you old goat," I snarled and snugged a rope round that mule's neck. I stared at my hands. They had spots, brown spots all over. Like the ones on my Gram's hands.

Wait, my Gram was still alive -- back in Virginia. I was going there next month. We were holding an Easter Egg hunt for all the cousins.

"Gramps, look out. Bailey's kickin' again'."

But here, I was the one with spots, holding a runaway mule, about to get kicked while I was fixin' to put healin' plaster on his leg.

My head hurt. "I'll get him, Gramps." Rob Boy grabbed the mule's rope. "I'll take him to the barn, then I'll run get Pop to help with his leg. Whyn't you sit on the front porch and rest. I'll bet Grandma will bring you a cold lemonade and some of her sugar cookies. You jest take it easy."

So I sat and rocked. It felt so fine. My eyes drooped. I was so sleepy. Wasn't sure if I should sleep. I might wake up as what next? With my luck, it could be Aunt Mabel, the dragon lady as we all called her.

But sleep won. I guess Grandma gave me lemonade. I woke on my New York couch, with something sticky all over my shirt front. I did wonder though if that dog-bone mule's leg ever healed. Ol' Bailey. What a guy.

Writing Prompt
You (or your character) wakes up and are someone different.

Someone Else
Contest Winner

Guess i watch too much old west movies - and read that kind of books. Mules are contrary.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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