Mule Killers by Lydia Peelle
This is a story about unrequited love and its consequences and the change from child to adult. Time changes and life goes on. Whether people accept the changes and might takes advantage of the possibilities given to them, but people make mistakes, especially when they are young and in love. Will it be a bump on the road or will it change the direction they are heading. These are some of the themes that the short story “Mule Killers” is dealing with.
Mule Killers is told by a narrator, who is telling the story of his father meeting his mother. It is a son telling about his father telling his son what happened the year he was 18 and the mule killers came. So the story takes place in two times, the present where the father and the son are picking asparagus in the garden and the past where the life of the father was changed for good. It all takes place in a farming area in America at the time where modern machinery reached the farms in Nashville. Tractors started to take over the farm and were therefore setting mules out of work. The narrator’s grandfather “…goes to Nashville and buys two International Harvester tractors for eighteen hundred dollars, cash…” (Page 9, line 13-14)
The father is in the sons telling an 18-year-old teenager meaning that he is a little uncertain and confused about growing up, and with small ability to express his feelings towards other people. The uncertainty and suppression of his feelings will later in the short story have critical consequences, as he manages to make a young girl pregnant, without wanting to marry her. The father was imaging that he was with Eula, a girl from the town who he liked a lot – unfortunately for the father the love was not returned. The above-mentioned episode takes place just after another episode where the father, in an attempt to make Eula jealous, dates another girl. However…...