Judd and Jessey It was the spring of 1993. I was excited to see the 45 mules Rufus Reese had shipped me from TN. This was close to 1200 head I had bought from him . As I pulled into the Gardiner rodeo grounds with my son Jeremiah a coal black john mule mule caught my eye . Usually most mules have a mealy nose like their donkey sires! We had a buyer there from Belgrade and Idaho. As we were sorting them off to go to Idaho or Belgrade or home, Jeremiah asked me to keep the black one . Id just cut him for Idaho as there country is rough , steep and needed bid stout mules like this black one. Jeremiah never talked much and never asked for much , so I cut him back destined for home! Best decision we could have made that day. He started greying around his head and like most greys they are born black . By the time he was six he was a dapple grey. Well as time went on he grew big stout and was built like a draft mule. 16 plus hands and 1350 pounds. He wore a number 2 shoe all the way around. I kept 8 of these big black colts . Fred Howie a local horseshoer taught them all how to be shod. He did a wonderful job and can still remember him talking to those big old colts. He was one the last few besides Jeremiah my son , to build a foundation with the proper shoeing from the start . So many now just drug them to shoe them. We never have and never will. Judd fell in love with Jessey , a black molly with a white star on her fore head . The first time we noticed this I had turned Judd loose in camp and he ran 22 miles home that night and was standing by the corral braying at Jessey. Jessey like Judd but would leave him for another mule in a minute . The other mule would get the heck kicked out of him as soon as Judd got back . Judd was huge but was quick and deadly when he wanted to be! As tim e went on they would hide in hellroaring about mid October and sometimes we wouldn’t see them again until December when wed hear the bells they were wearing coming down the trail from camp. They decided it would be better to winter at the barn . One fall Jessey hurt her shoulder in camp. As she was lame that fall a kid working for me from Georgia watched Judd run a wolf away from Jessey. The wolf was nipping at her heels and being lame she couldn’t kick his face. Then Judd had enough and came a striking and put that wanna be killer looking for a new neighborhood.Well she never healed properly and I gave her and Judd to a hunter friend of mine from Nebraska. Judd was in his prime and to young to retire , but I couldn’t break them up. After a year he could no longer care for them so I sent my brother Clarence to Nebraska to get them. When they got here I knew after looking at Jessey , what had to be done. I took her through the barn and Kellin Jund and I did what needed doing to end her suffering . Poor old Judd was heart broken. He stood at that barn door and brayed for three solid days . We packed our camp in and as we turned Judd loose he galloped to all of their favorite haunts anxious and braying. What a sad sight to someone who loves my mules like I do . None of my mules were ever lazy or didn’t earn their keep . But when they finished their work they were always grained watered fed and given enough space to roll .. Mules love to roll. Well as time went on Judd quit looking but every once in awhile when a black molly showed up he got interested and was excited until he found out differently. They just found Judd dead on the ranch at Broadus . The grass was high and water and salt available. He must have wanted to die. I’m sure he was still looking for his beloved Jessey but now they are grazing side by side swishing flies with their tails . Judds still jealous and Jessey is still leading him on a merry chase. Thanks for the work old mules and especially for the memories . Respectfully Warren ” Get up mules get up ” hope you here me holler that one more time!