How do I describe Frank?

Perhaps a good way is to tell you who “Frank” was. Then describe him.

Frank was a grey/white “horse-mule” my Dad bought when I was about 10 or 11. He paid a whopping sum of $25 for Frank. At the time, he thought Frank was a “steal” for $25 bucks. Remember, back in the early 50’s, $25 was a handsome but reasonable sum of money, even for a horse mule, and particularly in view of the fact that Dad had paid almost $400 for two experienced work mules, Lucy and Sally. Lucy and Sally were worth the $400. Frank clearly was nowhere near worth that kind of money. In fact—


“Steal” is not a good way to describe this deal. “Stuck” is a better way!

You see, we soon learned that Frank had the good looks and appearance of a horse but the disposition of a mule, and a lazy,“stubborn” one at that.

Frank was not enamored at all when my Dad put me on his back and tried to lead Frank around. He just stood there, unwilling to walk, let alone run, gallop, strut or perform in any way like a horse. He stood and looked at us. When Dad put me on Frank’s back and I nudged him in his sides the way Roy Rogers did “Trigger”, Frank looked at me with a stare that spoke volumes, like “what in the world are you trying to get me to do”? My Dad and I did get him to walk somewhat like a horse once but when he came to a small ditch that required him to step over, he stopped suddenly and wouldn’t move, walk, strut or jump. He just stood there. That was the end of our attempts at getting Frank to act like a horse.

He wasn’t particularly mean spirited. Or hyper, or dangerous. Nothing like that.

“Stubborn” or “lazy” would be a good way to describe Frank. Oh yeah, and two other words—“big appetite”. Frank was good at eating and eating. Lots and lots of hay, grass, grain, and other feed in huge quantities. He had an incredible appetite. In fact, Frank could eat almost as much as Lucy and Sally put together. But they were very valuable to our farm operation.

Now Frank on the other hand……

Dad was determined to get his $25 dollars of value from Frank.

“Trying” him as a work mule was the next plan.

It didn’t work very well either.

Dad hitched Frank up to a small, row plow, that he used to plow the tobacco or garden rows. The idea is to break the crust and break up the clods of volunteer weeds and grass that quickly fill each row of the “money crops”. It was one of the easy tasks that Lucy or Sally would gladly work at all day and never break a sweat. Frank didn’t break a sweat at it either.

He didn’t do it.

Frank just stood there. “Gitty up” didn’t work. Pulling on his leash didn’t work. Swating him on his rump definitely didn’t work. Neither did raising your voice. He just stood there, looking like he didn’t understand, but more likely simply unwilling to move.

Dad was beginning to lose his patience with Frank. Nothing he tried seemed to work.

Perhaps that might explain why he was able to buy him for the “steal” price of $25.

Frank adjusted well to pasture life. He had found a new home. He was no threat to the cows or Lucy and Sally, unless eating everything in sight is a threat.

My Dad finally sold Frank. Got $20 dollars for him.

I can see the look of satisfaction on his face as he waved to the man with Frank in his truck who was pulling out of our yard.

“I hope you enjoy him”, was my Dad’s last words as he closed the tailgate of the truck which slowly pulled away while my Dad waved.

He didn’t cry cause his feed bill went down by about 50%. Neither did I cause the job of giving him hay and dry food was someone else’s chore.

Frank reminds me of many people who join church or clubs and enjoy the fellowship meals and fun activities. Now volunteer on ”work days” or work in the nursery are another matter.


Life Lesson: We should work diligently, as for the Lord.

Key Scripture: Colossians 3:23. “Whatsoever you do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men"

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