The Utility of the Mule.
Many years ago in South Australia when horses were less plentiful, mules were largely used for drawing loads long distances. Early colonists of the Lower North will remember the long mule teams which were used to convey copper ore from the Burra mine to Kapunda to be forwarded by rail to Adelaide. For many years the mule like the bullock, has gone out of use, but of late years there has been a tendency towards his general use. Of his utility there is no doubt. He is hardy, a good worker, and will do well under circumstances where horses would be incapable for requirements. Consequently, tho breeding of mules has been taken up by some stock breeders, and the demand for them shows that any prejudice that has existed against them is passing. Our illustrations give a good idea of the favor into which the mule has come. Recently a pair were sold in Kapunda for £50. They were bred by Mr. J. N. Smith, of Fords, near Kapunda.
In America the mule is commonly used, and sometimes very large teams are to be seen. For instance, one of the illustrations is of a team of 34 drawing a gigantic reaping machine on a farm in the Far West of America. The reaper is a really wonderful piece of machinery. It not only cuts the wheat, but threshes it, cleans it, and even sacks it in one continuous operation. The quantity of work it performs is prodigious, and yet both mules and machine require only three men to superintend them.
A THIRTY-FOUR MULE TEAM.
A MOB OF MULES.