Fresno Animal Control Encounter

On the morning of September 1, 2019, the Mules were approached by two Central California SPCA (CCSPCA) animal control officers where we had stopped to rest for the night. The following is an honest accounting of our interaction of that encounter.

The Monk was sitting on his water bucket eating breakfast (canned green beans, half can peas, half can butter beans, two handfuls oatmeal, black pepper, small amount of vinegar with a generous amount of V8 juice to enhance flavor and texture) when suddenly startled by a roaming citizen, who apparently broke loose from his automobile parked about 50-100 yards away on the shoulder of the road.

The roaming citizen asked the Monk, “Do these horses belong to you?”

“Yes,” replied the Monk. ” Those horses picketed on the fence belong to me.” The Monk then stated, “We were getting ready to leave and won’t be here long.”
 
The gentleman replied, “Have a nice day” then walking thru the tall dry grass, returned to his automobile.

CCSPCA Fresno Animal Control Officers

About 30 minutes later while packing up, the Monk caught some motion out of the corner of his eye. It was two uniformed officers belonging to an agency of some kind making their way thru the tall grass towards the mules. 
The Mules ordered them to come no closer. They stopped short about 50 feet from us. 

The animal control officer said they were responding to a complaint of loose horses. Little Girl and Little Ethel were secured to the fence line via 30 feet of rope per animal and were not loose. At that point, the animal control officers should have left, however, they did not. Instead, the officer asked the Monk for identification. The Monk refused the request.

Central California SPCA version of the encounter that they posted on their Facebook page.

The officer asked, “Where did you get the horses? Can you prove they belong to you?”

The monk replied, “Possession is 9/10ths of the law. Prove they don’t belong to us.”

The officer asked, “What are they eating? Where is their food?”

Monk replied, “You’re standing on it. Knee high grass.”

The officer then asked, “Where is their water?”
 
“In a canal half mile down the road,” Monk replied.

The officer said, “The horses must have water. We will haul your mules away.”

The Monk responded, “Don’t try it.”
 
The officer got on his phone  for about 10 minutes. While the officers were talking on the phone, the Mules hollered back at them to take a look at 3Mules.com website that is plastered on the side of the pack boxes and 3 Mules Facebook page.  Then, the officers apparently did take a look at the website and shortly thereafter turned and went back to their truck and left.
 
The Mules

Animal Control Officers leaving

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The importance of being outside in the Natural World

Last Spring, when the Mules were making their way through Palm Springs, a comment was made on one of our posts that the Mules were making bad choices. “Bad choices” is social worker speak for alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.

In none of these activities or addictions do the Mules engage. Instead, we practice the sacred act of walking and the spiritual engagement with creation the Natural World. This is not a bad choice. It is a wonderful choice. A choice created and made available to all from a Trump down to a weak little man and everybody somewhere in between.

The Mules read a Sierra Sun article titled “For body and mind: Neuroscientists ties brain health to outdoors life.” The article was about a neuroscientist’s research that being (living outside) was healthy for the brain. Well, duh!!!! The Mules have known that since the time of birth. That knowledge is imbedded in our bones.

This is why it is so important that the right to travel on and across this country using a multi-use public thoroughfare, open to all its citizens, be protected by all with extreme vigilance.

The Mules


Excerpts from Sierra Sun article:

Outdoor activity is often associated with physical well-being.

Being in the natural world also plays a vital role in mental health, according to Dr. Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco and a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research for nearly five decades.

When people are engaged in activities like hiking, Merzenich says, the brain is getting its own exercise, constantly assessing and reassessing the environment for everything from threats to making minute adjustments along an uneven hiking trail.

In the natural world, Merzenich said novel things and surprises trigger this super-charged state, but as people have built cities and more recently, turned their attention to digital devices, they are no longer getting the benefits of being engaged with their environment.

“Our brain is deprived a massive level of exercise by living in an artificial world. We’ve adjusted our local environment so that everything is predictable, we don’t have to think about anything,” said Merzenich.

“Common city life, you only see things in front of your nose and you no longer see things out in the world … you became very, very inadequate at detecting anything that’s surprising or novel. That’s really what we’re designed to do. That’s what our brains are designed to do, we’re designed to be masters of our physical environment, to be looking for the surprises in it that don’t fit, to be evaluating what they mean and what their value is to us. The natural world is just about the best possible way to find all of those surprises.”

With the emergence of mobile devices, Merzenich said the effects are worsening, especially for children.

“There’s no question that the brain of the average little kid right now is vastly different from the brain of a kid even 20 years ago, because the brain basically is plastic, and it changes itself as a function of how it’s engaged,” said Merzenich. “What the child is engaging in is a lot of rule-based behavior, working in activities that are largely rule-based. The kid is doing things that they enjoy and are not valueless, but they’re not the real world, and increasingly we take a sort of artificial approach to life. We don’t problem solve so much as we look up answers to things. We’re changing the way our brains are exercised and that’s changing us.”
By being deprived of the unpredictability and novelty of natural settings, according to Merzenich, people begin to suffer from disorders such as depression and anxiety.

“Human survival was dependent on being an accurate, fast interpreter of the meanings of things,” he said. “Another way of putting that is, that it’s an important form of exercise. If I degrade that machinery, I go into clinical depression. If I enliven that machinery, I have a life that’s vital and bright. There’s real value in exercising the brain.”

In order to employ this mental form of exercise, Merzenich’s advice is simply to get outside and be engaged in one’s surroundings, whether it is at a park, on a hiking path or at the beach.

“I tell people try to be a little bit more like a child again,” he said.

“There’s nothing quite so wonderful as being out on a forest path or being some place where everywhere you look there’s something really interesting — if you’re just open to it.”

Sierra Sun, August 16, 2019
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Thank you Mysterious Pink Bag

Pinkie, the pink carry-all bag, that accompanied Monk for over 2200 miles thru Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and back to California then joining Little Girl and Little Ethel on travels north to Bakersfield, has been misplaced somewhere the past few days. Back tracked 11-miles yesterday to look for it but no where to be found. May the pink bag enjoy new adventures wherever it may find itself. It served the Mules and the nation well in our search for a mule. Although the relationship was short, it will never be forgotten. Thank you mysterious pink bag.

Pink cary-all
Pink carry all bag at bus depot
Pink carry all bag at bus depot
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Little Ethel

Report to the 3 Mules Nation on our new friend and addition to our endless journey – Little Ethel

The Mules went to Texas using the bus to get to Amarillo and look at two mules which we had found on an internet site that appeared to meet our requirements to join us on our journey, but they were not what we had expected. [See Amarillo, Texas post.]

We spent about a week in Amarillo scouring the internet, living outside and using a bike as transport. We were receiving many leads of mules for sale from the many people who were following the 3 Mules Facebook page and website 3Mules.com. However, most good leads were more than a hundred miles away and my scheme of using a bicycle to go from one lead to the next no longer seemed too practical.

The Mules decided to return to California. A lady named Barbara e-mailed us that she would like to pay our bus fare back to California. We accepted and thanked her for her support and generosity. So the pink carryall bag and myself traveled back to California by bus.

Pink carry all bag at bus depot
Our pink carry all bag at bus depot

The day before we were set to return to California, Annie, whose place where Little Girl was staying while the Monk was in Texas, found an internet site in Arizona advertising a 10 year old sorrel molly mule, 15 hands, 2 inches height, over a thousand pounds and halter broke only for $600 and named Little Ethel (isn’t that interesting?). Annie messaged me if I would be interested in Little Ethel. For $600, the monk replied, “Absolutely.”

Ad post for Little Ethel
Ad post for Little Ethel

Annie contacted the owner using her skill and experience, assessed the authenticity of the advertisement and circumstance. She then messaged the Mules her opinion. We messaged her back, yes please, purchase that mule named Little Ethel. Annie arranged with an Arizona vet to have the mule checked out and get Coggins test done. [A “Coggins” is a blood test that detects antibodies to the disease Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). This is a virus that can cause affected horses and mules to have fevers, anemia (low red blood cell count), edema (stocking up), or weight loss/muscle wasting. EIA is a relative of the virus that causes HIV in humans. Horses that become infected will carry the disease for life.]

Coggins Test Results
Coggins Test Results for Little Ethel

A couple of days prior to arriving in Texas, Wendy from the Three Mules Nation, who we met a several years ago while in Orange and stayed in her backyard for a night, messaged the Mules that her husband Michael and herself would be passing through Amarillo on the 19th of May on their way back to California and would have an empty space in their horse trailer should we have found a mule and need transport for it back to California.

Annie contacted Wendy and made arrangements for Little Ethel to be picked up in Dewey, Arizona and brought to Annie’s place in California where Little Girl is staying.

After Wendy arrived in Dewey, Arizona, she took and sent us these two photos of Little Ethel.

Little Girl, Annie and Little Ethel
Little Girl, Annie and Little Ethel

Little Ethel turned out to be everything her previous owner said she was and more. The three of us, Little Girl, Little Ethel and myself will be heading northward on our journey.

Little Girl training Little Ethel
Little Girl training Little Ethel

The Mules say thank you to all those of the 3 Mules Nation for giving their energy and support which has materialized into Little Ethel, a new mule and friend ready to serve this Nation of like-minded people who know the extreme value of living, walking in harmony and balance with our home, the Earth.

The Mules

Note: While our trip to Texas appeared to be a failure, in the end, due to the energy of the Nation, the 3 Mules Nation, harbored and waiting to materialize from the collective effort of all those of that Nation, a new friend Little Ethel was made to serve us all.

Little Girl with pink carry-all and Little Ethel grazing
Little Girl with pink carry-all and Little Ethel grazing in the desert.


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Amarillo, Texas

5/7/2019 – DAY 1 AMARILLO, TX. The Mules can’t get over how clean the streets are in Texas. No trash laying around anywhere, unlike California where you’re always walking through trash and litter. It was so unexpected to see. It truly is different in that respect.

White mule

In the morning, we met the gentleman who is bringing us to see a couple 16 hand mules that we traveled here to see. We first saw this nice 7-year old strong mule, but it is white and we don’t want that color as it makes the mules too easy to spot at night for thieves and others with less than a legitimate intentions.

Hopefully the two mules that well see today will be what we want so we can walk back to California. The tornado that was forecasted didn’t materialize.

5/8/2019 – Day 2 AMARILLO, TX. Made contact with the person who had the two mules for sale that was suppose to be 10 years old. This one photo was well over 20 years old with no front teeth and the other one had a bad front foot. So we continue our search.

Trying to find a bicycle so I can put my necessities on it and travel around rather than riding the bus, which will still leave you a long way from looking at a mule.

Also photos where me and the pink bag spent the night. It rained cats and dogs nonstop hard and steady all night.

I am still searching to purchase two 15.3 – 16 hand stout draft mules, 3 to 15 years of age. Must be easy to shoe, healthy and located within the United States. Do not want white. If there are any in the Amarillo Texas area that I am currently located, let me know. If you have mules for sale that fits this description, please private message photos, location, price and your contact information.

Thank you to those who have sent us leads, which we have been following up if it fits our criteria.

5/9/19 – DAY 3 AMARILLO, TX. Spent the day making phone calls and following up on leads provided to us by the Nation, the Three Mules Nation, since the mules we saw yesterday didn’t fit our criteria.

Map of United States

5/10/19 DAY 4 CANYON, TX: After walking 15 miles south from Amarillo to Canyon carrying all this stuff, I decided that I must get a bicycle. Taking a bus is way too expensive and still won’t get one close to areas with mules that one wants to look at. Bought this 18-speed bike at Walmart for $78, an unbelievable price because back in the 70s, I paid $100 for a ten speed. Managed to get my stuff tied on and will go from one place to the next looking for a mule. It didn’t take me long to realize that I’d rather be walking with a mule than riding a bicycle. All the more reason to find a mule as soon as possible.

18 speed bicycle

5/11/19 Day 5 AMARILLO, TX: Where we slept last night in Amarillo.

The Mules are still searching to purchase two 15.3 – 16 hand stout draft mules, 3 to 15 years of age. Must be easy to shoe and healthy. We don’t want white as it makes the mules too easy to spot at night for thieves and others with less than a legitimate intentions.

If you have mules for sale that fits this description, please private message photos, location, price and your contact information. Would like to see photos of teeth and video of back feet being picked up.

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The Pink Carry-All

While in Palmdale, California, the Monk was waiting for a bus to Texas. The Monk went behind a building, found a water spigot and was getting clean when he noticed this pink carry-all bag resting in a pile of garbage out in the sagebrush. He approached the bag out of curiosity as he was standing there, looking at the bag, checking its condition, wondering if it could be put to good use for his trip to Texas. The pink bag began to speak. The bag asked the usual questions: “Where are you going and where are you from?”

The monk replied, “We are from wherever. We have our feet in any moment of time. We are going to Texas to look for mules.”

The pink bag then said, “I’ve been stuck in this pile of trash for months. Could I go with you and help with your quest for mules?”

The monk replied, “Can we use yourself to carry our stuff until we find some mules?”

The pink bag responded, “Of course.”

Pink Carryall Greyhound Bus 3

So the mules being alone but never alone have acquired a friend in the guise of a pink carry-all bag to accompany and assist us in our quest to bring the Nation, the 3 Mules Nation, to a condition of full power, full speed.

Note: Another living down to the bone example of the energy harbored in this place in which the Mules reside. A place for anybody and everybody who will travel with his/ her animal companions in one of any four directions with love, respect and reverence for this beautiful creation known as Earth materializing into what the Mules need at any one point of time. This time a pink carry-all bag offering assistance and friendship in our quest for mule companions.

Pink Carryall Greyhound Bus 2

May 6, 2019
The Monk and the pink carry-all bag have made it to their destination in Texas after 36 hours on the bus. The trip took six hours longer than scheduled as the bus got a flat tire in Grants, New Mexico. Tuesday weather forecast here in Texas: “Strong thunderstorms, damaging winds, large hail, and possibly a tornado with some storms. High 74F.” Pink carry-all bag continuing to offer assistance and friendship in our quest for mule companions. Some photos from our travels in the past 36 hours.

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Makeshift Shelter

A makeshift shelter put together from what we found that was laying around. The nomadic life style live as close to and with the natural world as you can in anyone moment of time and reap the rewards of those moments of time. This plastic swimming pool shield us from the freezing cold temps as don’t have sleeping bag or tent with me.

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First night away from Little Girl

Slept here last night without the company of Little Girl. Little Girl is keeping company with the guy pictured, while the Monk is out alone looking for a mule like the guy pictured.

The Mules are still searching to purchase two 15.3 – 16 hand stout draft mules, 3 to 15 years of age. Must be easy to shoe and healthy. We don’t want white as it makes the mules too easy to spot at night for thieves and others with less than a legitimate intentions.

If you have mules for sale that fits this description, please private message photos, location, price and your contact information. Would like to see photos of teeth and video of back feet being picked up.

Where we slept last night in Palmdale

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Earth Day

One day every year, the Megatropolis designates a celebration of Earth. The Mules, we do it a little differently. Our life is a celebration of Earth Day. The Mules celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. As we walk along, we bring that celebration to every city and town we go through, every neighborhood, by everybody’s front door. We bring the magic and celebration of the earth and all its inhabitants. Our Earth Day is never ending. We celebrate Earth Day on April 22, but we know that we will celebrate Earth Day the next day, the next day, the next day. It is relentless with us. That is where our wealth lies, in the health and the wealth of the natural earth, this natural world. That celebration for The Mules will never end.

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