Monday, November 15, 2010

The Little Tin Mule

Most afternoons when I was a little girl, my great-grandfather (William Edward Loyd) sat on the porch swing and opened a new package of Brown’s Mule chewing tobacco.  Each slab had a little metal tag depicting the little mule logo.  My brother Ray and cousin Glenn patiently sat there watching Papa peel off the cellophane, and using the point of his knife, remove the little mule tag.  Papa then asked, "Who wants the mule?"  I always waited until they both said they wanted it before I said, "I do, Papa."  Papa always gave it to me.

I remember how special I felt when Papa handed it to me and how disappointed the two boys always were.  I never felt guilty in anyway or acknowledged that I was really being a little brat.  I just smiled, said "thank you" and gave Papa a sweet smile.  Ray and Glenn wanted it too, but it was always mine.

I have often thought about those little mules and wished that I still had one of them because it was the most vivid and cherished memory of my great-grandfather

A few weeks ago, I searched for an item on eBay.  Something I saw during the search must have brought the memory of the little mule to the surface.  I typed "tin mule" in the search block.  Up came two entries for a "tin mule."  I bid on both of them hoping one would be mine.  I lost the bid on the first mule, but was the successful bidder on the second. 

In a couple of days, it came in the mail.  As I untied the ribbon securing the small package and opened the paper around it, I was flooded with the memory of Papa's love.  I know that it is not one of the actual tags he once gave me, but it certainly represents one he did.  That is all that matters.  Ray and Glenn, I am sorry—but you missed it again.


  1. What a great story. I remember my grandmother and her sister using chewing tobacco, but I can only vaguely remember the tins that it came in.

  2. Thanks Greta! It was your "Memory Monday" that inspired me. ( I enjoyed your story of the fireplace.

  3. What a touching post. Sometimes it's the little things that happened that keep our ancestors close to our hearts.

  4. Greta, I love that your female ancestors chewed!! What a great mental picture that brought to mind ~~

    Dearest Joan, I am SO happy you were successful on eBay!!!