He Adopted A Wild Burro And Thus Signed His Death Warrant

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No good deed ever goes unpunished.

H. L. Mencken

I never met the man but knew him well.  It is not likely you would know him even had you been acquainted with him for years.  You would have to grow up in America’s Outback to know him.

I heard only the briefest mention of the story from Dad, who owned the Shamrock.  The Shamrock was where the cowboys and Indians, the working class and the top millionaires drank.  

Dad knew everyone in town except the middle class.  That bunch dawdled over a cocktail at Hunter’s Lodge with its own geysers and duck pond in the time a regular at the Shamrock would put down half a quart of whiskey.  Dad wondered how Hunter’s could make any money.

One time I came into the Shamrock and there were three millionaires together on stools at the end of the bar.  That was when a million was actual money. The millionaires were getting free drinks on the house from working stiffs spending their last dime and maybe the baby’s milk money.

I asked Dad why the millionaires were not buying for the house too.

The answer was obvious.  I can be dumber than whale blubber at times.  The regulars could brag forever about buying the drinks for the millionaires.  If the millionaires bought, they would be just showing off.  Even the most desperate down ‘n outers don’t like to be insulted.

Those days all the regular people were Democrats and so were the top millionaires though the latter would not have liked it known.  The very few Republicans were the dawdling drinkers at Hunter’s.

Today all are Republicans because the Democrats chose to go upscale and even the dawdlers don’t want to know them.  The Democrats don’t even know how to talk to regular people anymore.  Listen to any Democrat.  All you hear is middle class.

Middle class folks in a town in America’s Outback would never adopt a wild burro.

The wild burros were saved from being shot to save the area around the Grand Canyon. With the extermination of so many predators (except Republicans), the invasive burros threaten destruction of what little there is in desert country.  

PETA and less violent sorts don’t want no killing and so the quandary.

The adoptive father of the wild burro is single (no wife would allow a wild burro to be adopted), probably retired but never made much money anyway, drinks a lot, lives on a dirt road in a rundown house with falling down barn or shed or something with too little land to support a turkey, let alone a burro, but wants to do some good for once in his life.  

Make that past tense.

When the animal abuse people and prosecutors and judges got on the case, there was no out for our hero but to shoot himself.  There are no hero abuse people.  Praise the Lord there are guns for heroes.  Nobody is going to take those away.

Best,  Terry


  1. terryhallinan

    Puppies are much better than wild burros.

  2. TMC

    when I was a little kid.

    The island we live on was only connected to the mainland by bridges not the big city it was actually part. Back then, folks here had horses and chickens in their backyards and vegetable gardens. Yes our yard was that big. No permits were needed for livestock back them. Heck, the orphanage had a heard of cows.

    Back to the goat. My grandfather was proud of his vegetable garden, especially his tomatoes. One night the goat got out of his pen (I think he ate his way out) and made himself a feast of grandfather’s garden. When I came back from fishing with my dad that night the goat was gone. I didn’t ask, I really didn’t like the goat, neither did my horse or my cat.

  3. terryhallinan

    We did.

    One of my sisters to the end of her life could vividly remember being surrounded by the little tykes and Mom screaming her head off on the back porch.

    I would guess goats are preferable.  Especially to mothers.

    Have you ever visited Poe’s Cottage in the Bronx?  It has been redeveloped with a zillion dollars but from the pictures retains much of the original character.

    When we saw it, the guide appeared to be a homeless man who slept there.  Poe had rented it for $100 a year.  His mother-in-law foraged in the back pasture.

    We have visited museums of all kinds from the Smithsonian to an incredible collection of primitives in Pennsylvania that few know about to simple small colletions.

    Poe’s Cottage stands apart like the collection of drawings by small Cambodian during the terrible bloodbath by Pol Pot in a cotton mill in Lowell, MA.

    Anyway I like your goat memory and don’t mean to upstage it.  It’s often hard to see what was from what is.

    My rattlesnake nursery was and will be forevermore until global warming does it in.  I kinda like that too.

    Best,  Terry

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