There is a marked difference between avoiding work and
actually trying get work done more efficiently. We sometimes avoid
doing a job because we think that it would not be worth the reward of
the work. Sometimes we deceive ourselves thinking that we are being
practical and avoid doing something that would be very practical. Down
through the ages man has tried to improve his methods of working by
inventing many labor saving devices. Some are born of necessity and
others are born trying to avoid the drudgery of certain kinds of
When I was a boy I had two friends who lived on the
same block as where we live now. They were Rollo and Norris Pratt. One
day I saw them near our home busily pounding the ground with a hammer.
I went over to see what they were doing. They were squatting on each
side of a big Ant bed. They each had a hammer and were killing ants
with every stroke of their hammers. I asked curiously what they were
doing. They answered that they were killing this big Ant Bed. "Won't
that take an awful long time", I asked. "Not too long", Rollo answered
I watched as the ants kept streaming out of the hole to
aid their brother ants. Also I guess they could feel the vibration of
the hammers striking the ground and were coming to investigate only to
be smashed by a hammer stroke. Soon they dug into the Ant Bed
following the hole and different tunnels. Hour after hour they worked
in the hot sunshine. Digging and pounding the ants as they came out.
Soon they came to nests of eggs and larvae and even the Queen ant was
killed in her nest deep in the ground. Near the end of the day they
could find no more ants nor tunnels. They wearily took their hammers
and walked the two blocks to their home. As they left they told me to
ask my father if he had any Ant Beds for them to kill. They only
charged fifty cents per Ant bed.
As I have thought of that method of killing Ants I have
reflected on the fact that they used a lot of time to accomplish their
work. Was it worth it?
Then I remembered the man who was raising hogs and was
approached by a salesman selling different things to improve his
operation. After demonstrating a few things the salesman said proudly,
"Think of all of the hours you can save". The farmer thought for a
minute and commented dryly, "What is time to a hog".
A young man hired on with a man who owned a large farm
and a big cattle ranch. The young man was a little slow mentally but
wanted to make a good impression so as to be able to keep his job. He
found things to do and worked very willingly and worked early and
late. His boss was impressed and decided to take him out to the ranch
to live on the ranch since he was so willing to work.
They packed up the supplies and the young man took his
little Mochila and they traveled about four hours from town to the
distant ranch. Where they were met by the foreman of the ranch with
horses to continue on to the pretty valley where the ranch house was
located by the windmill that supplied the water for the ranch and
cattle. The young man settled into his new home and worked well with
the foreman doing all of the things that the ranch requires. As the
days went by and there was not really that much to do except routine
chores the young man began to be lonely in his isolation. About the
second month the days began to be long and boring and the nights
seemed even longer as he thought of home and the excitement of town
The foreman told him soon they would be going to meet
the boss and bring home their provisions. The young man began to
devise a plan where by he could go back with the boss to his home.
The next morning at breakfast the foreman began to talk
to the young man but he could not answer. He only pointed at his
tongue and shook his head indicating that he could not talk. This went
on for several days and the foreman began to get worried and told him
that when the boss came he would have to go back to town to see what
was the matter. Finally the day came to go to meet the boss they
saddled up and went hurrying to where the boss was to meet them. As
they were galloping along the young man was absorbed in his thoughts
of home when suddenly he cried out loudly, :Watch out for the hole!
The foreman looked at him in surprise and suddenly realized that in
his effort to save him from stepping in the hole he had forgotten that
he could not speak and thus had given away his plan to be sent
A few years ago Don Cirilo Perez, the Old General,
Emilio Burgos Grandfather, was traveling with his Grandson Rafael
Perez and some cowboys to a little town deep in the Seirra Madre to
buy cattle. They had traveled several days on the rugged trails and
had camped for the night on a a nice creek in a beautiful canyon. They
planned on reaching the town the next day.
The next morning they got all packed up and had packed
Don Cirilo's bed roll on a new little mule so as to not give her a
heavy pack. As they finished packing her they took off the blind fold.
The little mule quickly ducked out of her halter and trotted off down
the back trail Don Cirilo and Rafael quickly mounted their mules and
went in pursuit of the little mule who felt free and was going home.
The terrain was so steep and rough that they could not seem to gain on
the little mule. Don Cirilo was not pleased with the situation because
all of the money to buy the cattle was in his bed roll on that little
mule and they were steadily losing ground.
Finally they came to a long steep climb and Don Cirilo
said to Rafael, "Shoot her". Rafael got off his mule with his 30-30
Rifle in his hand. He took careful aim and shot the little mule in the
neck. She dropped dead and they climbed to retrieve the bed roll and
the money. They took off the Aparejo and hid it in the brush to be
picked up on the way back. They were soon back with the cowboys and on
the trail toward the town.
A long time ago I was visiting Chuhuichupa and Emilio
Burgos came and told me that his cousin Poncho Enruquez was selling
out his holdings in Chuhuichupa . He said that he had some good mules
that he was trying to sell at a much reduced price. We drove out to
Poncho's pasture and looked over the mules. Among the mules a little
blue mule took my eye. She was as pretty as a picture and looked well
built and strong in spite of her small size. Emilio said that she was
well trained and with plenty of life. I bought the blue mule and
Emilio said he would send her to the ranch with the mules he was
We went on our family pack trip soon after that and
when we arrived at the Carrizo corral there was the little blue mule.
We used her that trip and all of the family fell in love with her. She
was the ideal riding mule for that country and very willing. We didn't
even need spurs or a quirt. Naoma claimed her for her mount. On one
trip we camped in a deep canyon and belled a couple of the horses for
the mules would stay with the horses. The next morning to our surprise
the Blue Mule was gone. Yagui said that he had tracked her and she had
left the others and gone straight up the steep rugged mountain without
stopping to eat and had gone out of the country where we were. He
commented that the she was trying to get out of work.
Our next trip the blue mule was back with the horses
and mules so we were glad to use her. That night we decided to hobble
her and put a bell on her so that we could find her the next morning.
The next morning Yagui reported that she had gone again hobbles, bell
and all. She had gone straight up the mountain at a steady jump! Jump!
Jump! Yagui said she was really trying to get out of work this time to
go off hobbled.
Our next trip the cowboy told us that he had found the
blue mule two weeks after she had left us. She still had the hobbles
on but the bell was gone. He said that when she saw him she greeted
him gladly and that when he took of the hobbles she followed him
closely all of the way back to the ranch .
After that we never had any trouble with that little
blue mule. She was even easy to catch and was very willing to work and
stay with the other animals. In later years she turned completely
white so we changed her name to the little White Mule. She was a
favorite with all of the family for many years. When Pete Cowgill the
Sports writer from Tucson came down I gave him the white mule to ride
told him that she would take care of him and even kiss him goodnight.;
He wrote up his experience and entitled it "Vaya Blanquito".
She had a very hard lesson trying to get out of her
work but she learned it well and never tried it again.
In my younger days I used to welcome any kind of work.
I loved to work on the farm. I loved to teach school. I loved to work
on building projects but most of all I welcomed the chance to take a
big bunch of explorer scouts on a pack trip even though it was a lot
of work for me. Packing the mules with the help of my Cowboy, getting
all of the boys matched up with a suitable mount and cooking all of
the meals for that bunch of hungry growing boys. I would look for
opportunities to serve in this way especially I liked too take my
family and their friends welcoming the work that it entailed. Since I
have grown old and have many limitations I don't like to do that
anymore. Am I trying avoid the work or am I being wise in not trying
to run faster than I have strength.
Dad Haynie gave us a mule by the name of Chihuahua He
was the first mule we ever had and was a very good all around mule. I
even have movies of me roping calves on him on the open range on the
ranch. He was willing to do any and all kinds of work. He was even a
good pack mule. I used him to hunt on out east of Dublan and he
welcomed and even helped me load those big heavy Mule Deer Bucks on
the back of my saddle. Then he could carry me and the Deer for hours
in the very rocky Malpaiz Mountains.
On the trip when Dad wanted to go hunting with all of
his sons and son in law. I sent all of the horses up for us to ride.
Chihuahua was the only mule in the bunch. Dad and some of the boys
made fun of me for riding a mule when there were plenty of horses
We camped on the Gavilan River at the foot of the North
end of the Blues. Later Elvin Whetten built his ranch house about 100
yards upriver from where we camped.
The first morning we all saddled up and started
together to split up to Hunt. Uncle Steve Farnsworth was with us as
our guide. Dad said that he would take me with him and Uncle Steve
could take the others and divide them up.
Dad and I decided to hunt up the west side of the blues
to finally top out on the North end. I put Chihuahua to the trail and
we were climbing leisurely up the slope. I had to stop often to wait
for Dad to catch up. He was riding his big pinto horse from the ranch.
I could hear him grunt and mumble angrily at his horse. Apparently the
horse didn't know how to go around the trees along the trail but would
lean into them instead and really bang Dad's knees..
I spotted a nice White Tailed Buck on a ledge above us.
He was looking around trying to locate us. I dismounted and motioned
to Dad to come and shoot the Buck. He came and looked where I was
pointing. Finally he said, "I can't see him my eyes can't see that
far". He urged me to go ahead and shoot. I shot the Buck and he fell
thrashing down the steep hill a little ways. We made our way up to
where he was and got him cleaned and tied on the back of my saddle.
Dad suggested that we needed to put the Deer on his big horse but I
assured him that Chihuahua could do it easily and that the pinto
really didn't need any more weight.
By the time we climbed out on top it was clouding up
and starting to sprinkle. Dad said lets head back to camp and turned
and started south along the top of the mesa. I protested that he was
going the wrong way. He answered gruffly that he knew where he was
going. I was getting worried so I pulled out my pocket compass and
showed him that he was heading south instead of north to camp. We
turned and started down on the north end of the blues instead of going
down the way we had come up. We soon found ourselves on a very steep
side hill and found a canyon confronting us. We were near the bottom
of the canyon but there was a steep incline of solid rock between us
and the bottom. We skirted along the top of that rock incline looking
for a way to get down. Finally I found a little gully going down. It
was solid rock and fairly smooth for about twenty feet to the dirt in
the bottom of the canyon. I said, "let's go down here". Dad said, "I
don't think the animals will go down". I got off Chihuahua and started
to lead him down the little trough. He started to slide on all fours
so I hurried down to one side and in front of him. When we reach the
welcome canyon floor Chihuahua heaved a sigh of relief and began to
crop the grass Dad was trying to get his Pinto to go down the trough
but he was at the edge but would not step onto the rock. Finally Dad
in desperation got behind him and gave him a big push and he started
sliding down. The horse began to scramble and lost his footing and
rolled the rest of the way down. He got up trembling but unhurt. Dad
came on down and we mounted up and took a dim trail towards camp and
the river. Soon it got very dark as we leveled out on the bench above
the river; Dad was in the lead but Chihuahua kept trying to go to the
right. I told Dad that my mule wanted to go to the right and he turned
to follow me as Chihuahua turned sharply to the right and in a very
short time I could tell we were on the trail going to camp. Soon we
could see the campfire and we were glad to be back in camp. Dad said
as we rode into camp, "If I weren't so heavy I would ride that mule
tomorrow". I told him that he didn't have to worry about the weight
that Chihuahua could carry him and a Deer on behind. Our hunt was cut
short because the next morning we woke up to six inches of snow and it
was still snowing hard. We decided to get out while we could.
We used Chihuahua our mule for many years alternately
in the mountains in the summer and at the ranch in the winter. He got
be old he was getting gray around his eyes and the side of his
One trip we went on Karl had spoken to ride Chihuahua.
On the way down on a steep trail suddenly Chihuahua snorted and moved
quickly to the side We investigated and found a very big green Timber
Rattle Snake. It was fully four and a half feet long and as big around
as my arm. Karl claimed the big rattles because his mule had
discovered the snake. I tied a thread around them leaving a loop on
each side. We found some pine resin and resin the thread. By slowly
moving the fingers around and around in the loops it would create a
loud buzzing, rattling sound just like the snake makes. With that
sound Karl had us all warily watching our step.
The next morning Chihuahua could not be found even
though we had hobbled him and put a bell on him. He was probably
somewhere close by hidden in the dense foliage. He must have been
standing very still so that the bell would not sound with his
movement. We had to let Karl ride one of the pack mules for the rest
of the week because Chihuahua had retired himself. Finally the last
morning as we were packing up to go, Chihuahua came into camp with the
other animals and Karl rode him out for the last time.
The next year when we went up there the cowboy said
that Chihuahua had moved down onto the Gavilan River just below the
Old Burgos Ranch and had established himself in retirement. I went
down to see if I could see him. I found his fresh tracks going up his
special trail up onto a beautiful mesa covered with plenty of grass
and timber and trees of all kinds. I followed his tracks to the top
but when I got up there I did not find him even though I covered the
entire Mesa. When I went to the little trail to go down there were his
fresh tracks leading down into the River Bottom where they disappeared
in the grassy meadow. I did not get to see him but I am sure he saw
me. I mentally thanked him for all of the service he had given the
family and sadly bid him goodbye.
Every year after that whenever I would go near the
Gavilan I would go and check to see his tracks on his special little
trail leading up onto that beautiful Mesa. Finally one year I went to
see and found his little trail grown over with grass and was soon to
be obliterated. I knew that Old Chihuahua had passed on to his reward
where I hope to see him someday.
I feel like I can follow Chihuahua's example and retire
from the hard physical labor and dedicate my energy and work to other
things. I now Work in the Temple, give Patriarchal Blessings and write
them up. I work on the computer writing up these memories of long ago.
However I can still serve as guide for people who want to go to the
mountains and I can still go to Girl's Camp and be of some