This story was probably told to me by my dad who was a natural farmer. At one time I remember him using a 8 foot stepladder to reach some tomatoes he had grown.
There was in the county where Calera, AL is situated, a mule that had the reputation of being the best mule in the county. It’s owner, Jake, advanced in age, decided to retired from farming and offered the mule for sale to the highest bidder. A wealthy farmer, Bud, who had property next to Jake, offered to buy the mule and the property. Jake found the price good and accepted the offer.
On the transfer of the mule and the property, Bud asked if there was anything special that the mule required. Jake gave him list.
The first day Bud hooked the mule up to the plow, he was unable to get the mule to move, much less be as productive as claimed. Bud called Jake and complained.
Jake asked, “Did you feed the mule Triple Crown Senior feed?”
Jake, “Did you use the feeding bag with the special felt lining?”
Jake, “Did you provide the soft pink blanket when the mule was bedded down?”
Jake, “Okay, I will be over at 6:45AM in the morning.”
At 6:45 Jake arrived to find the mule harnessed with the felt lined harness with pink cushions for the pressure points for pulling the plow. After checking that Bud had followed the instructions, he told Bud to take his position behind the plow. Meanwhile, he rummaged around the property and found a 2×4 about 4′ long which he picked up and whacked the mule on the posterior. The mule immediately started pulling the plow and by noon Bud had completed plowing the field he had planned the whole day to plow.
At lunch, Bud asked Jake, “Why did you hit the mule with the 2×4?”
Jake replied, “You gotta get its attention first!”