Where Polly Sleeps at Night

So mule Polly have been traveling across Newfoundland for a month now. Plenty of time to get a feeling for the land. The beach launched fishing boats. The bottled seal meat. The lobster traps that Polly likes to eat. She does it for the fiber, not the salt. Ask me how I know.

Polly cadging a treat from two young lads on a fishing boats.

Thirty days on the road with a mule. Plenty of time answer questions about myself, mule Polly and the wagon we’re traveling.

Polly’s wagon

And trust me. I get lots of queries. Top three are where I live, how did I get here and am I married? The answers are are North Carolina, ’92 Dodge and no.

Shockingly, I also get this question a lot: does Polly sleep in the wagon at night?

Excuse me? Polly, the 800 pound equine, squeezes her 72-inch circumference through the 18-inch door of my wagon every night?

The easy answer to those folks would be a polite, “No, she sleeps outside tethered to her picket.” Which is the answer I resort to most days. Still, after a long day of walking in through the Newfoundland rain with no idea of where I’ll sleep, let alone my mule, my brain goes kinda haywire. As in, when that car window rolls down and tosses the mule quarters question my way, the polite middle age guy in me wants to rip off the facade and reply….

Sir, it’s damn funny you should ask where Polly sleeps at night. Remember how I told you she can sleep standing up? How her legs lock like a table and she can catch those precious “zzzzz“s standing up? Brilliant bioengineering, right?

Well, what I do every night is I unscrew her legs and shove her head and neck into the door of my wagon. She makes it up to her shoulders.

Then I reach behind her back legs. Remember how I told you her name was Polly? Female gender name? Well, back there on her, there are these two valves. That would be her nursing gear. You can also twist them for final deflation.

From there it’s a little push and shove and yes siree, she’s in for the night.

Heaven help the fool who asks me how I get her out in the morning.

So, go ahead. Ask me where Polly sleeps at night.

Photo: Polly showing us where she really sleeps at night – on her picket.


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