Monday, February 27, 2012

Will You Shoot My Mule?

By Scott Bowman

     In his autobiography, Number 1, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle. Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked with his friend. Mantle’s friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, but he didn’t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him.

     When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn’t let them hunt. “I’m so mad at that guy,” Mantle said, “I’m going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!”
Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, “We can’t do that!” But Mickey was adamant. “Just watch me,” he shouted. When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule.
     As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to his car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. “What are you doing, Martin?” he yelled.
     Martin yelled back, face red with anger, “We’ll show him! I just killed two of his cows!”
Billy Martin was a great teller of tales, and many doubt that this event really happened. But it does illustrate a very real truth. Anger can be dangerously contagious. As Proverbs 22:24, 25, puts it: “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go; lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.”

- Scott Bowman (via
House to House Heart to Heart); submitted by Joe Slater, minister of the church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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