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Any good Marauder mule skinner defends mules vigoriously against any of the usual charges made against them. A mule is not stubborn, he is practical. A mule doesn’t want to be disagreeable unless he has to. He just sensibly follows the line of least resistance. If he balks or kicks, he has a reason.
Caught in a tight spot, a mule never kicks himself to death or flounders as a horse often does. He sensibly waits for help. A mule doesn’t fret and give way to nerves as men and horses do, he makes the best of things.
He is well-behaved under fire and bombing. He never gets shell shock. He has much more endurance than a horse and, unlike the horse, he has too much sense to overeat and overdrink.
A mule is in fact, say Merrill’s Marauders, a pretty savvy creature all around. As Colonel R. W. Mohri, the Burma mules’ vet, puts it, “A mule’s every bit as intelligent as a human being. Probably more so. So to get along with him, you need to have, if possible, as much sense as the mule.”
A mule is as brave as he is intelligent, and the only thing that frightens him in the jungle is the elephant. The elephants fortunately are likewise terrified of mules. In encounters, both run away at top speed, filling the air with trumpeting and braying.
Marauder mules have proved themselves first-class “jungle-wallahs.” After months of long, exhausting marches through mud, across rivers, up…