View Finds

Man and Mule

Found by Chris Pusateri in Boulder, Colorado

I rescued this photo from the lobby of my apartment, where some wayward tenant had left it. An hour later, my landlord — an enormous Serb, who like many in our complex, doubles as a Buddhist — saw the picture. “This picture,” he said, “reminds me of something you would see in my country.” “In this picture,” I said, “I am the mule.” My landlord laughed. I continued, “You will notice that the old man who holds the reins also carries a riding crop. The mule is the most stubborn of animals, and the old man has learned that if the reins fail to move the mule, he can always resort to the quirt.” I looked at the picture some more. “But I can’t figure out who the old man is.” The landlord looked at me, and with his typical Serbian solemnity said, “You are both the mule and the old man.”