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
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: