The versatile mule makes a comeback
By Michael Johnson, Editor
Ever so silently, in the hills east of the Missouri River, a husband and wife are slowly bringing back an animal that at one time helped tame the wild west. With one donkey jack and an assortment of even-tempered mares, Bob and Holly Wheeler of rural Underwood are shedding light on the indispensable mule. The Wheelers got started in the mule business by accident. Bob let someone else ride his horse one day and he switched over to a mule. He said he rode that mule in the Badlands all day long. When he hopped off the animal, he didn’t hurt. This was unusual. This was worth looking into. The Wheelers moved to their spot west of Underwood about two years ago. They moved there to escape the oil country in Tioga. Wheeler said they have lived with oil for many years, yet just recently they grew sick of all the traffic. So they found this quiet spot on the prairie and started growing their herd. “We bought 160 acres of peace and quiet,” Wheeler said of the spot. Unfortunately, that silence is disturbed like clockwork by the resident donkey. But it’s a sound they are willing to put up with.