With the sun at noon we stopped our work
And I parked Mr. Miller under a tree.
I filled his bucket from deep in the well
And I got several swigs for me.
He needed a break and I did too,
I figured we were half way done.
This one mule tilling doesn’t go very fast
And especially in the blistering sun.
But all in all, pretty cool for a mule—
I can give him directions just once.
He listens to me and usually obeys,
In school he wouldn’t have been a dunce.
Mr. Miller’s first name is simply “Mike”
And I’ve treated him with some respect.
‘Never drove him hard or beat him
And never showed him harm or neglect.
Mr. Miller just helps with my work
And has never once bucked or balked.
Yet, unlike that one in the Scripture
He never once has actually talked.
Sometimes in the middle of the afternoon
He’ll turn his head and look at me
As if to say, “Could we have a break?”
Then turn his head toward the big oak tree…
Mr. Miller certainly isn’t a dummy
And quite often I will give in.
His sense of timing is good I think
And knows when there’s hay in his bin!
He has long brown ears and sleepy eyes
And the horse flies give him fits.
I know at times he gets real perturbed
And must think, “Would ya kiss my grits.”
He wears his blinders when plowing
To keep his focus straight ahead.
The crows in the furrows don’t distract—
He keeps on looking forward instead.
Some think Mr. Miller is kinfolk
Because I speak of him so much!
I refer to him as a “good farm hand”
Running tillers for me and such…
Without Mr. Miller and his help to me
I don’t know what I would do.
It’s just hard to get good help these days
And “Mike” has proven to be one of a few.
August 20, 2017
(for Outdoors with Larry Rea)