Molly: Alter Ego, ©2012 Barbara Yates Beasley

I was once told that I was stubborn as a mule . . . actually, truth be told, more than once. Not everyone would consider that a compliment, but I do.

I have a habit of talking to the animals that I photograph for reference. So at the National Western Stock Show as I was telling the mule Danny Boy that I too was considered stubborn, his owner pointed out that mules are highly intelligent and like to think for themselves. A nice bit of reframing, I thought.

As part of my research for “Molly: Alter Ego,” I collected words describing mules to surround Molly with. After reading about half of these, my husband commented, “Now that you’ve described my wife, what about the mule?” He likes a highly intelligent, curious, even-tempered, hardy, and independent wife. And maybe even occasionally stubborn. Good thing!