Mules in Fiction

As November is National Novel Writing Month, I thought I would bring you a few mule-related reads for your bookshelf.

Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley

By Marguerite Henry. A fabulous children’s story, and the last book that the Misty of Chincoteague author ever wrote. It’s a short and fairly simple tale, but you can not fail to be charmed by it and the gorgeous illustrations from famed mule artist, Bonnie Shields.

The Black Mule of Aveluy

By Charles G. D. Roberts. I love this one! It’s said to be based on a true story so I don’t know if I can really include it in a list of fiction, but I’m going to anyway because it’s awesome. After a mule line is bombed, a soldier saves the life of a fantastically opinionated mule who later goes on to save his master’s life, too. The author was a captain in the British army and I suspect he had a lot of first hand experience with mules, as he describes them brilliantly. It can be found in Roberts’ collection of short stories, “Wisdom of the Wilderness”.

Across the High Lonesome

By James McNay Brumfield. This is the book I’m currently reading, and is a “modern western odyssey that invites the reader to hitch a ride through the glacial carved vales and over the high lonesome passes of California’s ‘Range of Light’. A journey of love, pain and adventure, brimming with unforgettable characters, salty humor, and recalcitrant mules”. I particularly like it because it starts out in Lone Pine, which I visited while in America and was one of my favourite places from the holiday! The author clearly knows his mules and, although I’m slightly less interested in the romantic plotline, I adore his descriptions of the long-ears.

Go Saddle the Sea

By Joan Aiken. Technically, the mule in this is only a supporting character at best; but I did buy the book purely because it had a mule in it, and I’m glad I did as it turned out to be a fun and enjoyable read. A YA book, it tells the tale of Felix: an orphaned Spanish aristocrat who sets off on a journey to England to find his English father.

Do you have any other suggestions? I would love to hear them.

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