Judd and Jessie were bought from Tennessee in 1993; they came up with a semi-load of other mules. Judd, at the time, was coal black; as he got older he slowly became gray. It is very unusual for two animals to become so attached to one another, but with Judd and Jessie that happened. You could say they pretty much fell in love with one another. Although true to a woman’s nature, Jessie can be a little fickle at times as she would like to make Judd jealous. She would cozy up with another horse or mule, then when Judd would come over she would kick at him or nip him, but soon Jessie would go back over near Judd again.
They are the two mules any guide would catch because they were so solid. you could count on them at all times. You had to put them together in the string, Jessie ahead of Judd. If you separated Judd would bray the whole time and kick up a fit! Out in camp, those two would get tired of people and just wander off after we turned them out at night. One time, they left in October and we could not find them until one day in November when they showed back up at the house in a blizzard. Judd and Jessie were no worse for wear, just ready to be back at the corrals with hay and grain to eat.
Jessie got hurt two years ago, when she was picketed to a tree out in camp and Judd was not. She pulled the tree loose (not a very large one) and hurt her shoulder all because Judd had wandered off. Therefore, we put them on pasture together for we did not have the heart to let Judd be away from his love. Through thick or thing, you could count on them to be together. They did have their spats and what couple doesn’t? However, soon they would be side by side again.
They have each packed 175 elk for us since we bought them! They packed in camp almost every year up there. The miles those ol’ mules have gone is incredible, some of it in the darkness and some in the daylight, those ol’ ears swinging back and forth as they walked the trails of the wilderness.
We will miss them, but are glad they got to live out there lives together!
Thanks to the generosity of our hunter, Gale Lunenborg and his wife, Deb. Jessie and Judd now have a lifetime of grass in Nebraska.