Tiger the Mule Teaches Children About Kindness and Compassion

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Photo credit: The Hilliard Institute for Educational Wellness

Tiger the Mule, a new illustrated children’s book by Hickman County resident J. Allan Smith, is capturing the hearts of children and adults alike. Based on a true story, Tiger, a beautiful mule with stripes on his legs, is born in the rolling green hills of Tennessee. He is separated from his mother after just six months and sold to a cruel owner. After two years of abusive treatment, Tiger becomes scared, distrustful and defiant. He is then sold to the kind Mr. Smith, who patiently teaches Tiger to overcome his past wounds through kindness, compassion and love.

Photo credit: The Hilliard Institute for Educational Wellness

Inspired by Smith’s experiences as an educator in the public school system, service as a minister and work with rescued mules on his family farm, the story of Tiger reminds readers that love has the power to heal both people and animals.

See more: Drift Off to Sleep with a Farm-Inspired Bedtime Story

Tiger the Mule is available for purchase on Amazon. To learn more about the author, visit facebook.com/JAllanSmithAuthor.

(Note: This book was featured as a giveaway in our Spring 2020 issue. The giveaway has now ended. Thanks to all who participated.) 


  1. Roger Thackston

    February 22, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    I grew up with mules on farm in Smith County. My father had several pair but his favorites were Ader and Kit. Ader was my favorite as I could ride her and not fall off because her back was “soo” wide. Dad would rather plow corn with a team of mules than with tractor. The mules always knew when it was dinner time and time to quit for supper.

    • Jerry Towns

      February 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      I would really enjoy reading this book to my great-granddaughter as well as to my daughters’pre-school class. This would be a great lesson for all.

  2. Penny Burks

    February 24, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    This book looks like it could offer needed healing in a safe, indirect way.

  3. Ezekiel Bethke

    February 24, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I am 8 and hope I win this book. I like animals.

  4. Betty Cooper

    February 24, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Seems like a sweet book to share with all children.

  5. Sue Mathews

    February 24, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Looks a great read for children. I send my grandchildren books every month. Would love to send them more books about Tennessee.

  6. Sonya Hewitt

    February 24, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Oh goodness, my dad loved mules! I’m hoping to teach “peanut” what he taught me and read this book to our lil one! Of course, I’ll tell it about Pop-paw & how Pop-paw loved a “good mule”!😊

  7. bn100

    February 26, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    looks cute

  8. Brenda Donegan

    February 27, 2020 at 11:31 am

    MY granddaughter loves all animals and anything about Tennessee history. Would be perfect for her.

  9. Marilyn smithson

    February 27, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I am 75 women we had mules when I was at home I have a great grandson I wanted the book for him.

  10. Christy Chester

    February 27, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    I would love to have this book to read to my grandchildren! Thanks for the chance to win it! 🙂

  11. Iva Miller

    February 28, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    My husband and I did the Mule Ride at the Grand Canyon last August.
    It was quiet an experience. We came back up from spending the night
    at Phantom Ranch with a whole new outlook on life. Our mules names were
    Loggy and Joneise. We were in love with these animals from day one.
    My husband said he would love to bring them to our 15 acre home and just let them roam and live a peaceful live. Winning this book would be so great.
    I would give it to my husband to enjoy and he could read it to our grandchildren. Thanks for your article.

  12. Linda

    February 29, 2020 at 7:18 am

    I know just the little young lady that would love to read this.

  13. Linda Peden

    March 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    I thought this story;just the way it has come about; is about the most heart warming stories I have read,in a long time. Tears came to my eyes. Tiger is a lucky mule.I want my two grandchildren to read this book. I grew up, in Hickman County, but have been living in Maury most of my adult life. Mule capital of the world. Possibly, we may see Tiger The Mule there one day. I feel blest. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for caring and giving, of yourself.

    • J Allan Smith

      March 12, 2020 at 10:03 am

      We were at Mule Day last year and plan on being there this year! Hope to see you there.

  14. Katie Q

    March 2, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Would love to win because we live in Mule Town. 🙂

  15. Sherry Worley

    March 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    My grandfather two mules and I remember the wonderful stories my dad would tell about them. This book is near and dear to my heart.

  16. Marla Belyew

    March 9, 2020 at 5:07 am

    This would be a great book to take to my classroom.

  17. Kellie Dean

    March 9, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    This is such a sweet book, and I’d love to read it to my 5th graders!

  18. Brian Dean

    March 9, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I’ve always loved mules, and this makes me want to get one for our farm!

  19. Kimberly Welte

    March 11, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Growing up on a farm, I learned so many life lessons. Caring for and raising farm animals and doing farm work certainly taught me kindness, patience, diligence, and hard work. I enjoyed bottle feedIng calves, caring for ducks, a rabbit and chickens, and planting the garden just to mention a few of my favorite things.. I’m so thankful and blessed to have grown up there.

  20. Elizabeth Hensley

    April 9, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    My grandchildren would love this book and I love reading to them. Animal stories are their favorites.

    • John

      April 9, 2020 at 10:55 pm

      I hope they enjoy Tiger the Mule

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