The Mule and the Mountain Lion

Saturday, October 01, 2005
Here's a story I received via email.

A couple from Montana were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera. Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a Mountain Lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you'll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision...

The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs. With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion. That's when all hell broke loose... for the lion.

As the lion approached the dogs the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, than whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride... as if nothing had just happened.

That's an astonishing story. Could it be true? Look at the pictures.

The pictures are impressive. But it doesn't sound right to me. Upon reflection, I'm having a hard time believing this one. Either my understanding of animals is completely off or else this is a prank. Could people really Photoshop that well? This might be the most impressive display of Photoshop skills I've ever seen. Or maybe it's real after all? Wow. Where's that Photoshop-detecting software when I need it?

So I headed over to Snopes. Yep the story was there. Oh no: the pictures are real.

It's the story that's contrived. Doh!

If we can trust Snopes, that is. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Am I the only one who's a little bothered by the unquestioned trust everyone is handing to these amateur fact checkers?


chuck said...

The Snopes version made more sense to me and had a reference to Western Mule Magazine. But I take your point, how can we check the checkers? I suppose it is like blogs and the news media, one simply has to go by gut feel and past experience together with indications of serious intent: reference to other articles, for instance. Ain't life a bitch? Someday, when I have achieved immortality through my cybernetic extensions, ala Vernor Vinge's The Peace War or Marooned In Realtime, I might have the time and knowledge to do this for myself ;)

ContraryPelican said...

The photos look posed to me.
There is an absense of motion in them.

Would dogs just sit and watch? Have you ever seen hunting dogs do that while something is being bitten to death? When something peculiar is going on? You think that them being "bewildered" makes a lick of sense?

Some cowboy is having a good laugh at our expense, I think.