An introduction to Francis, our beautiful mule who loved drinking cokes and who entertained thousands of tourist over 50 years ago.

He is talking to you.  “Heeeee Haa.”  This is the story about the busload of kids who gave Francis one or more bottles of coca cola one day.

They were excited and ready.   Every time a kid went to the coke machine, he would loudly cry our his mule talk.  “Heeeeee-Haa.”    The ‘heeee’ tone is deep down and low in the throat.   Then the ‘ha’ tone is made abruptly and raised high in the throat.   The kids understood what Francis was saying.

Now, you may ask me what does a mule story have to do with 501 Levi jeans for men?

I would say,  my vivid memories of those days of the big 47-foot cowboy, brings a wealth

of reminders of the denim jeans that the big cowboy wore.   Many tourists touched the denim

jeans and the cowboy and put their kids on top of the shoe to take pictures.  But that memory

extends to other things my dad did which the tourist enjoyed.                                                                                                             Writer of mule stories

I wrote some stories recently that just reminded me of that day over 50 years ago.   Yep!  My mule stories.



That was the time the 501® Levi®  jeans were made for the big cowboy at a Levis® manufacturing plant.   I had thought about all the innovative things dad did to entertain tourist and perk their interest in buying the souvenirs at our curio shop.

I love to write, but I am not a professional.   Nor am I experienced.  But writing about the cowboy and using new vocabulary and skills to make a website is one of the passions in my life now.

Dad entertained people by building and designing the big 47-foot cowboy, the museum, the signs all around, and a coke drinking and vocal, friendly mule. That is the background I grew up with and it is not a surprise that I had a wealth of memories to later write about.

My mom was a composer, piano teacher and an accompanist for some university voice majors.  You can read about her accomplishments here.

A saying about having fun.

I am not a genius, but writing any story is my attempt to be creative; however, all is vanity.   But there is the joy in writing on any level of skill.

Dad did the true investment of good fashion by showing tourist the Levi® jeans for the big 47-foot cowboy.  He had indisputable investments in entertainment.

This website is to entertain you just like the big cowboy, the little cowboy (22 feet), the life-size gunfighter museum,  the motel and the Corral Curio Shop (all built by my dad) was to entertain the tourist in the 1950’s and 1960’s. 

These undertakings equipped my dad to be creative as well as providing financially for his family.   This website, Judy Kingsberry’s/findmejeans .com  was written to help provide me more financial security but mostly it has given me an opportunity to entertain visitors with stories.  It has been an expression of my creativity too.

I hope you will have fun and be entertained by my website,, and hope these mule stories will lighten up your day.


All mules are personable and I  remember Francis as being friendly, sometimes obstinate, and decidedly loyal to my dad.  The mule behaved beautifully.

The small Canyon in the panhandle of Texas

Dad found Francis at the Palo Duro Canyon which is a smaller version of the Grand Canyon.  Francis was there just a wild as he could be.   Somehow my dad was able to catch him and bring him kicking along behind our house in a large field.

Dad built a lean-to to protect him from the elements.  Now, this is not the picture, but I just want you to get an idea about how dad thought of everything.

Dad's lean-to for Francis

There is a lot of information about the mule.

A mule is an offspring of a male donkey (called a jack) and a mare ( a female horse)  A donkey has been described the same way as a mule.  A hinny is the offspring of a female donkey (called a jenny) and a male horse.

Wikipedia, states in an article about the mule that “mules are more patient, hardy and longer lived than horses, and less obstinate and more intelligent”

Then the article speaks about the sizes of mules.  “The size of the mule depends on the breeding of the male’s female parent called a dun.  (Wikipedia)

DONKEY  (mule)                                                                                                                                            HORSE

Long thick ears                                                                                                                                             Short ears  

Large face                                                                                                                                                       Long face  

Tails and manes are stiff and bristly                                                                                                   Manes and tails are softer  & more flowing manes  

Tails with separate strands & the rest are smooth                                                                        Tails are long at the top of the tail              

Hoofs are small and box-like                                                                                                                 Hoofs are larger than donkeys

Bellies are hourglass                                                                                                                                 Bellies begin with the belly       

shape & from front legs                                                                                                                            behind the front legs

Back has 5 vertebrae                                                                                                                                  Back has 6 vertebrae

 & with high front and with less dip tail end

 Forehead and eyes are  wider apart                                                                                                    Forehead and eyes are closer together

 Neck comes up out of the shoulders                                                                                                    Neck comes up out of the front legs    



According to the Free Dictionary of American History, worry and timing with the mode of transportation to the new West involved the choice among horses, oxen,  mules.  The mules traveled at 2 1/2 miles per hour.  Oxen were slower at 2 m.p.h.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The faster speed could save a week or more over that of oxen whenthe sturdy oxen going long distance.  However, oxen were sturdy and prodding and capable of carrying a larger load on the wagons.

Mules had to be fed grain which was carried in the wagons and had less space for everything needed for such a long journey.  Oxen ate nuts, grass, and leaves from bushes or other food from the environment.

Mules could also go 24 hours without water when they carried a lighter load.  Mules had more stamina and were surer footed than horses.

Sad to say, but when no wild game or supplies were low, oxen could be eaten as well.

While heading west, trails and roads had to be made as well as logs had to be cut to build homes.  George Washington who loved mules for work animals said, “Horses eat too much, work too little and die too young.”                                                                                                                                  “Mule.” Dictionary of American History. 19 Dec. 2016.

Harry S. Truman, former Vice President, said once, “My favorite animal is the mule.   He has more horse sense than a horse.   He knows when to stop eating—and he knows when to stop working!”



Filed under: ArtEntertainment

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!