Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

Mule Trader: Ray Lum's Tales of Horses, Mules and Men

Academic journal article Journal of American & Comparative Cultures

Mule Trader: Ray Lum's Tales of Horses, Mules and Men

Article excerpt

Mule Trader: Ray Lum's Tales of Horses, Mules and Men. William R. Ferris. Foreword by Eudora Welty. Oxford: University Press of Mississippi, 1998.

William Ferris as a folklorist has always looked for folklore and American culture behind the fences that others passed by without noticing anything. He has heard the bass notes of folk life and custom and searched it out and recorded it for the enrichment of present-day and future Americans. Such is the case with this remarkably readable book about one of America's leading mule traders and raconteurs. Ray Lum began his long career of trading mules at a very early age. When mules were outdated by tractors, he went to cattle, and then other artifacts as custom demanded. But always he told tales-sometimes white lies-to educate the public and enhance his product. Lum always knew that the mule was one of the more important domestic animals since Biblical days and probably before. …

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