2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Entering mule country

Published: April 10, 2014, 12:37 pm, by Bill Radford

041514 mule sign

I paid a visit to the ranch of Linda and Charles Geist in eastern El Paso County this week  to meet their mules. Linda is president of the Pikes Peak Long Ears Association, a group of people devoted to their mules and donkeys, and she and her husband own more than a dozen mules. If you share their passion, the Pikes Peak Long Ears Association is looking to beef up membership.

While checking out the Geists’ sprawling mule complex, I took the opportunity to ask Linda about a behavior our mule, Molly, displayed recently. Molly usually meanders about, moving at a much slower pace than our horse. But when my wife accidentally left the gate to the pasture open, Molly immediately raced through like a rocket. She then began to explore the back and side yards, with no interest in returning to her barn or the pasture.

Geist smiled when I told her of Molly’s great escape. Mules are notorious, she said, for spotting — and slipping through — open gates, perhaps in a quest to see if the grass truly is greener on the other side.

I’ll have more on my visit to mule country in next week’s The Country Life column.