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The night was cold and stormy. Upon the roof of the barn, the weather vane creaked in the wind, making its way into the dreams of the sleeping animals below. A crash of thunder shook the red house, waking a small mule, snuggled up against its mother. It whinnied, frightened by the commotion outside, and squeezed its eyes shut, trying to fall back asleep. Its struggles were in vain, for the wind gathered more speed and unrelentlessly hurled itself against the barn.


Understanding that it would get no more sleep that night, the mule rose to its feet and walked over to a corner of its stable. It contented itself for a while by watching its mother sleep, trying to guess her form of dreaming as her ears twitched and her teeth bared. This was entertaining for only so long, and it soon became bored. Trotting over to the the stable doors, it was about to press through when it was halted by a sharp pain in its back end. Falling to the ground, its head rolled, facing upward, and it found itself staring into the eyes of its mother, his hind leg clenched tightly in her bloody, frothy mouth.