We’ve mentioned mules lately, and Tom Toddy offers a story to prove that the mule is indeed a smart animal:

“When the Amite flooded out of its banks, it would deposit a large mound of sand on my neighbor’s riverbank property.

“He had a well-trained mule, whose prime role in life was plowing the garden. The mule was used to pull a scoop to remove the sand pile.

“One day, trying to speed the process, my neighbor hooked the scoop to his lawn tractor and coaxed his wife into driving.

“The following day, I noticed the mule back in harness. When I inquired about the change, the reply was, ‘I can cuss at the mule!’

“To get sand piled at the edge of the river, my neighbor had to extend himself and the scoop handles out over the water.

“Once, when he yelled ‘GET-UP,’ the mule BACKED UP and dumped him in the river.

“We all laughed at the incident, including the dumpee, and figured this was the mule’s retort to all that derogatory language directed his way.”

Special delivery

Charmian M. Kendrick says her sister, Jocelyn, and husband, Bob, were introduced to Community Coffee in 2000:

“They live in England and were in Baton Rouge for my daughter’s wedding.

“They became avid Community fans. Whenever I go to England (every couple of years), I have to take enough Community to tide them over until my next visit!”

(To tell you the truth, Charmian, I’m having trouble picturing you boarding that plane, lugging a two-year supply of coffee!)

Clean those bayous

  • Cajuns for Bayou Teche hold a bayou cleanup from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, meeting at the City Park boat launch in New Iberia. Blake Couvillion asks volunteers to bring their boats to “help clear the banks of the bayou for New Iberia’s first-ever Dragon Boat Festival.”

Contact blake_couvillion@yahoo.com.

  • “Clean Up Bayou Lafourche” will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday from Griffin’s Store in Leeville. Volunteers will work until noon, when they will be treated to lunch by noted cook T-Ben Griffin.

Pressing matters

Former Baton Rougean Gwen McKee says she and husband Barney (BRHS ’58 and IHS ’56 respectively) have something of a David and Goliath story.

Their Quail Ridge Press, in Brandon, Miss., now in its 35th year, has had a cookbook, “Great Food Fast,” named the fifth best-selling cookbook in America in 2012.

Says Gwen, “We were in the midst of the big guys — Random House, Harper-Collins, Clarkson Potter, etc. — among the hundreds of thousands of cookbooks in print.”

No fear

Gwen McKee says of the above-mentioned cookbook:

“This is our first pressure-cooker cookbook, and I, like so many of my generation, still had a lingering fear of pressure cookers with their little bobble tops waiting to explode.

“Not any more! These new pressure cookers are foolproof. …”

(I’m sure you’re right, Gwen, but I can’t help recalling the old adage “Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.”)

On to Branson

A garage sale will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Gray’s Creek Baptist Church in Denham Springs to help the church’s senior citizens get to Branson, Mo., for their annual Bible conference in April.

Pet line

Suzie Beeson recommends the website “Lost Pets of Baton Rouge” if you find a dog or cat:

“You can list them with picture and location. And if you have lost a pet, you can look for it there. It’s free.”

Special People Dept.

  • At 2:15 p.m. Thursday, Landmark of Baton Rouge’s oldest resident ever, Josefa Devesa, celebrates her 104th birthday with a “huge” party. Ashlee Abudyak, of Landmark, says that since Josefa only speaks Spanish, Denham Springs High School’s Spanish class will sing to her in her native language.
  • Arthur Wheat celebrates his 92nd birthday Thursday.
  • Donald and Lorraine Simoneaux, of Baker, celebrate their 60th anniversary Thursday.

Generous George

Maxine Bradford, of Metairie, says, “The day before Washington’s birthday, I asked my 8-year-old grandson if he knew who George Washington was.

“He said, ‘Yes, he was a great man who gave us a lot of dollars.’ ”

Equal measures

Joe Guilbeau, of Plaquemine, says the recent European horse meat scandal reminds him of this story:

“A lot of horse meat was eaten in Europe after World War II.

“A soldier with the occupation forces went into a restaurant, saw ‘rabbit sandwiches’ on the menu and ordered one.

“Not tasting rabbit, he asked the waitress.

“ ‘There is a shortage of rabbits,’ she explained, ‘so we are adding horse meat to it.’

“When he asked what portion of horse meat was used, she replied, ‘Half and half — one horse to one rabbit.’ ”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.