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A Mule Kicks a Beehive.

(Californian.) I was visiting a gentleman who lived in the vicinity of Los Angeles. The morning was beautiful. The plash of little cascades about the grounds, the buzz of bees, and the gentle moving of the foliage of the popper: trees in the scarcely perceptible ocean breeze, made up a picture which I thought was complete. It was not. A mule wandered on the scene. The scene, I thought, could have got along without him. He took a different view. Of course mules were not allowed on the grounds. That is what he knew. That was his reason for being there. While I was thus thinking, the mule, which had wandered up close to a large beehive, got stung. His eyes lighted up, as if that was just what he was looking for. He turned on that beehive and took aim. He fired. In ten seconds the only piece of beehive I could see was about the size a man feels when he has told a joke that falls on the company like a piece of sad news. This piece was in the air. It was being kicked at. The bees swarmed. They swarmed a good deal. They lit on that mule earnestly. After he had kicked the last piece of beehive so high that ho could not reach it any more, lie stopped for an instant. Ho seemed trying to ascertain whether the 10,000 bees which were stinging him meant it. They did. The mule turned loose. I never saw anything to equal it. He was enveloped in a dense fog of earnestness and bees, and filled with enthusiasm and stings. The raor,e be kicked the higher he arose from the ground. I may have been mistaken, for 1 was somewhat excited and very much delighted; but that mule seemed to ,rise as high‘as the tops of the pepper trees. The pepper tress were twenty feet high. He would open and shut himself like a frog swimming. Sometimes when he was in inid-air he would look like he was flying, and I would think for a moment he was about to become an angel. Only for a moment. Thera are probably no mule angels. A sweet calm and gentle peacefulness pervaded me. When he had kicked for an hour, he began to fall short of the tops of the pepper trees. He was settling down closer to the earth. Numbers were telling on him. Ho looked distressed. He had always been used to kicking against something, but found now that he was striking the air. It was very exhausting. He finally got so he did not rise clear of the ground, but continued to kick with both feet for lialf-an-hour, next with first one foot and then the other for another half-an-hour; then with his right foot only every few minutes, the intervals growing longer and longer, until he finally was still. His head drooped, his lip hung lower and lower. The bees stung on. 3e looked as if he thought that a mean, sneaking advantage had been taken of him. 1 retired from the scene. Early the next morning I returned. The sun came slowly up from behind the eastern hills. The light foliage of the pepper trees trembled with his morning caress. His golden kiss fell upon the opening roses. A bee could be seen flying hither, another thither. The mule lay near the scene of yesterday’s struggle. Peace had come to him. He was dead. Too much kicking against nothing.

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Bibliographic details

A Mule Kicks a Beehive., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 321, 18 April 1881

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A Mule Kicks a Beehive. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 321, 18 April 1881