Today, Redwings Adoption Star (Ret’d) Muffin celebrates his 34th birthday. Muffin has been an Honorary member of the SCS – with the special membership number ‘Salonika 4’ – since the centenary, so we send him very best wishes for his special day.
Muffin is a long-term resident of Redwings Horse Sanctuary at Caldecott in east Norfolk, where he lives with the donkey and mule herd. Sadly, he will not be having a party today, but will be enjoying a special cake and lots of extra fuss. We look forward to seeing the photos.
There is no doubt that Muffin, as an elderly mule, is feeling his age. His teeth are rather worn, so less effective at chewing the grass. To compensate he needs extra food to ensure that he gets everything he needs to keep him fit and healthy. He still enjoys his food and makes sure he is in the queue first for breakfast, probably helped by waking up before everyone else in the herd. He is enjoying the increasingly warm weather, which does his creaking joints good (me too!), although a hormone disorder means he can’t shed his hairy winter coat. On the plus side, this means that he is groomed more often to get rid of the excess coat.
Happy birthday, Muffin!
The serious point behind our ongoing adoption of Muffin is to highlight the vital role of mules, and other animals, in the Salonika campaign. Animals which kept the troops supplied with food and ammunition, transported them and their guns, carried messages, evacuated the wounded and even provided company and comfort in trying times.
The picture, below, is from the excellent IWM online collection and shows a mule litter returning to the 79th Field Ambulance near the village of Smol in Macedonia. © IWM HU 94403