Feramorz Little’s Mules

His initial trip was a farcical epic. Fort Bridger, 124 miles distant, was the nearest speck of civilization east of Salt Lake City; beyond were 400 lonely miles to Fort Laramie. Years later, Little wrote that he and Hanks reached Fort Laramie nine days out of the Mormon town. When they arrived the animals were so used up that they were unfit for the return trip. So the two men importuned the owner of a nearby ranch and obtained five wild, unbroken mules, the only stock available. These they wrestled to the ground, bound them and tied on blindfolds. Four of them they managed to work into a harness, and on the fifth one Ephriam Hanks put a saddle. All was ready, the blindfolds were yanked off and the bindings cut. A lively performance commenced. Hanks took the lead, trying to assist in keeping the wagon on the road, but his mount “was guilty of all the antics that a wild Mexican mule is considered capable of performing under the circumstances.”