One fine Carolina evening a Mrs. George Wood,
now deceased, called a Dr. Marvin Satterfield, a
veterinarian in Edonton, from her home in Chowan
County. It was about her mule, Horace.
She was upset and said: "Doctor, Horace is sick
and I wish you would come out and take a look at him."
The sun was setting, but there was still plenty of daylight
to see by. After asking a few questions and hearing
the answers, Dr. Satterfield said: "Oh, Fannie Lamb,
it's after six o'clock and I'm eating supper.
Give him a dose of mineral oil and if he isn't all right
in the morning, phone me and I'll come and take a look
at your mule."
She wanted to know how to give the mule
the mineral oil and the doctor said it should be through
a funnel. Mrs. Wood protested that the mule might bite
her and Dr . Satterfield, a bit exasperated, said:
"You're a farm woman and you know about these
things, Fannie Lamb. Give it to him in the other end."
Fannie Lamb went down to the barn and there stood
Horace, moaning and groaning and banging his head.
He certainly looked sick. She searched for a funnel
but the nearest thing she could find was Uncle Bill's
fox hunting horn, hanging on the wall of the barn.
This was a beautiful gold-plated instrument with
She took the horn and nervously affixed it properly.
Horace paid no attention, and she was encouraged.
Then she reached up on the shelf where the medicines
for the farm animals were kept. Instead of picking up
the mineral oil, however, she grabbed a bottle of turpentine, and she poured a liberal dose of it into the horn.
Horace raised his head with a sudden jerk and
stood dead still at attention for maybe three seconds.
Then he let out a squeal that could be heard a mile
down the road. He reared up his hind legs, brought his
front legs down, knocked out one side of the barn,
cleared a five-foot fence, and started down the road at
a mad gallop. Since Horace was in pain, every few jumps
he made, the horn would blow.
All the hound dogs in the neighborhood knew that when
that horn was blowing, it meant Uncle Bill was going
fox hunting. So out on the road they went, following
close behind Horace the Mule.
People who witnessed that chase said it was an
unforgettable sight. First, Horace, running at top speed
and the horn in a most unusual position, the mellow notes
issuing therefrom, the silver tassels waving, and the dogs
They passed the home of Old Man Harvey Hogan,
who was sitting on his front porch. It was said that
Mr . Hogan had not drawn a sober breath in fifteen years.
He gazed in fascinated amazement at the sight which
unfolded itself before his eyes. He couldn't believe what
he was seeing. Incidentally, Old Man Harvey Hogan
is said now to be head man for Alcoholics Anonymous
in the Albermarle section of the state.
By this time it was good and dark. Horace and the
dogs were coming to the Inland Waterway.
The bridge tender heard the horn blowing frantically
and figured that a fast boat was approaching.
He hurriedly went out and cranked up the bridge.
Horace went kerplunk into the water and, unfortunately,
drowned. The pack of dogs also went into the water,
but they all swam out without much difficulty.
What makes the story doubly interesting is that the
bridge tender was also sheriff of Chowan County and
was running for reelection at the time. But he managed
to get only seven votes, and these were from kinfolks.
Those who took the trouble to analyze the election votes
said the people there figured that any man who didn't
know the difference between a mule with a horn up
his caboose and a boat coming down the Inland Waterway
wasn't fit to hold any public office in the county.