I was born in Tate County, Miss., in 2009 on Mr. Mike Samuels’ place. When my father, Gated Jack, was left with Bobby Kidder, I grew up without human touch on Callicott Road at Buzzard Bottom Ranch. The ranch has been in the family of Bill Williams since the 1950s. My human is the grandson of Bill Williams. That is how I came to know my human.
Eight years ago, my human came to see me and made all kinds of promises. Just follow him into the trailer, he said. He promised to show me the world. I didn’t believe him, and they tried for weeks to catch me. One day, I fell asleep in the pen and woke up – caught! At that point, he was still promising I would see the world. After that first terrifying trailer ride, I ended up at my current home, Wyndi Hill Farm, with my human. He deserts me every morning to go to “work” at a bank. Yeah, right – work. When I first arrived at Wyndi Hill Farm, unfortunately, my nose had been cut. Some humans say it looks like I have three nostrils, but it isn’t that big. My human thinks I like him – I am still not so sure. I have kicked at him and bit him, and he is the one that named me Big Nose Kate.
They tell me I am named for a legendary lady of the Wild West. Someone named Doc Holliday’s lady friend. The story goes that this “Big Nose” Kate stabbed Holliday twice and shot at him three times, but she loved him. I still don’t know why my human thinks I care about him. So, that August, he brought that trailer down to my pen thinking I would get in. Of course, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere in that thing again. Once again, he fooled me. Bright sun. No shade. He put my feed and water in the shade, and he won – again. Now I have a special fondness for trailers. Back to my adventures!
One day my human said he would break me, teach me to lead, and ride! I don’t think so! They said several years before, one of my cousins had hurt my human so badly at something called the Chuckwagon Races. So, my human said he would fix me and that we were going to see the world. Next thing I know, I am trapped in the trailer with another mule named Mert. We were stuck for 27 hours bound for Grace, Idaho. My legs were so wobbly once we arrived! My human left me with someone called a buckaroo who was supposed to teach me some manners.
By the time I understood what was happening, I was left in a rough stock round pen made of logs. I waited for an hour for him. Thinking my human wasn’t so bad after all, I decided to go find him. No one knew I could jump! I escaped and went on a several mile jaunt looking for him. You might have heard that a mule always knows how to get back to camp. I stood at the pen waiting to get in with my buddy, Mert.
Once the buckaroo taught me some manners, Mert and I spent three fabulous months in the Rocky Mountains. We rode up to 11,000 feet, saw beautiful lakes, and went on a cattle drive! We brought the cattle down the mountain for the winter. By the way, I am not a fan of bears! After 90 days, the buckaroo said my human was ready for me to come home. I couldn’t wait! He couldn’t come for me himself because of “work.” Mert and I were shipped home with some horses coming south. We had a leisurely four-day trip home with stops for water, food, and rest along the way.
After settling in at home at Wyndi Hill Farm, it was time for me and my human to reconnect. Everything was grand until one Sunday afternoon when he decided I needed to be vaccinated! Long story short, I cow- kicked him so hard in the chest and mouth! I had never seen so much blood. He hollered something about shooting me where I stood. Sounded like we were becoming as close as Doc Holliday and his Kate.
As a direct result of the scene I made on vaccination day, my human’s son, Will, won’t have much to do with me! I have been to 14 states, most of them with my human. We have had some great times, and if it weren’t for that bank, we would probably stay gone a lot longer! So far, my favorites are northwest Arkansas at the Buffalo River and the Sylamore National Forest. All in all, there are 140,000 acres with very few humans. I have seen most of it, and I always know my way home. On many trips, my buddy Mert and her human accompany us. What I enjoy most while my human is at “work” are my days at Wyndi Hill Farm with a horse named Lightning and another horse named Blacky, Will’s team roping horse. Those are some good friends.
I see my human every day. He comes out every morning and calls me. I call back, perk my ears up, and turn my head. When he comes home in the evenings, I go to the gate to say hello. If he truly understood me, he would know that what I really want to know is when we are going to hit the trails again.