Here’s some more background in The Intelligencer !
We are really excited … and a little scared! After several years of intense work by the boys at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources we understand that water will once again flow in the canal. We cannot wait. Standing around all day eating hay and grass with no exercise is not good for the figure! And our muscle tone is non-existent … a well fed donkey might perform better at this point.
In reality, we just can’t wait to get back to work. In fact, just taking a walk along the canal will be wonderful … although we must confide that the thought of pulling a barge full of well-nourished New Hope bed and breakfast guests is a little daunting. Perhaps we could train with a row boat? Would we still need a captain licensed by the Coast Guard? You may laugh … but, seriously, we girls got to know some of those captain guys … and closer inspection did little to enhance our confidence that lives would be saved should an unsuspecting tourist end up in the canal! Twelve inches of water and two feet of mud would have been a challenge for the healthiest of them … and as for all that Coast Guard experience? I rest my case.
Other dangers are omnipresent. For example, there have been a number of hot summer days when we have been pushed to the brink … and sorely tempted to plant a well -placed kick on the derrière of an unruly passenger or two. Good mule etiquette and fear of reprisal conferred restraint and kept us on the straight and narrow. However this ever present temptation was probably at least as real a threat as the latest challenge to our freedom from grazing oblivion. Rocks falling from the yet-to-be-repaired Ferry Street bridge! Even mules have fears, and rocks falling from the bridge … at least spontaneously … is not one of them.
So, as we sit here and wait, and eat, and wait, please cast a vote … or write a note … in support of our freedom. We promise to work hard to restore the good historical name of the New Hope canal barges … and to refrain from behavior unbecoming a well-trained mule. Thank you!