Breaking Mules: Runaway Mules Cause Fright to New Bride

Husband attempting breaking mules ends with runaways and a husband leaving for the night to try and track them down.

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One day after my husband and I were married, we left Oklahoma for Akron, Colorado, riding behind a team of mules; the result of my husband breaking mules. The first night we camped beside a river near a dead tree. Thomas fed the mules and tied them to the wagon wheel. As soon as it got dark, they broke loose and started back the way they had come, straight across the prairie. Thomas trailed them, carrying our lantern.

I was a pretty scared girl. I had no light, and the dead tree was full of big black birds that cried "Caw! Caw! Caw!" I thought they would be in the wagon after me any minute.

Thomas didn't get back to our camp until after daybreak. He had followed those mules five miles before he ran them into a barn and left them for the night.

Mrs. Ethel McAlary Lasater
Myrtle Creek, Oregon


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.