from The Malakoff News
Thursday, June 12, 1930
After Twenty-Five Day Diet of Lignite Coal, Mine Mule Enjoys Life in Green Pastures
Another one of those stories that proves that truth is stranger than fiction and one that would well fit in the “Believe It or Not” column is being carried under a Malakoff dateline in the Texas newspapers this week about a mule surviving 25 days in a flooded lignite mine. This, however, is not only a story, but absolute fact.
Twenty-five days ago last Wednesday, the No. 1 mine of the Malakoff Fuel Company became flooded due to the extra heavy rains. The electric current was shut off, which rendered the shaft cage useless, and two fine mules were left to the mercy of the rising waters in the pit below. The water arose to considerable depth in the shaft, and the tunnels were thought to have been filled to capacity and all hope of saving the two animals was given up entirely. After the mine had been drained and the men at work again several days later, one of the mules was found fastened between the motor and a rib of the mine. The other was thought to have been drowned in another portion of the mine, which was, at that time, still in bad condition. Wednesday afternoon of last week, J. N. Shirey, mine foreman, decided to investigate that portion of the mine and after having gone in a little way, found some fresh mule tracks and realizing that they could have been put there by none other than Jim, shouted joyfully and began calling the mule by name. Presently, the mule came in sight and for a time, all activities in the mine ceased. The mule was led to the cage and brought to the top and since that time, he has been living a life of ease and luxury in green pastures and with an extra portion of delicious oats at meal time.
How the animal could have survived for this length of time in a flooded mine with nothing to eat but lignite coal remains a mystery, but he did.