I keep finding mules in unexpected places. Like the 40-year anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.

Did you know that Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong piloted a mule through the Grand Canyon in March 1964? I didn't either, until I saw it on the U.S. Geological Survey Web site.  

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were trained in astrogeology in order to learn about the geology of potential lunar landing sites and aid in sample collection. This included the creation of artificial impact craters and, apparently, at least one mule trek.

(Watch this if you don't "get" the title of this post.)  

Barry the steer and Tiger the pony, both residents of Arkansas State University's Bill and Alice Nix Petting Zoo, are local celebrities. Area motorists passing by their field have noticed the pair's fast friendship, television station KAIT 8 reports.

"They're something," driver Hank Hall told the station. "I talked to my wife about it and I said there's something odd going on, there's a red bull and little pony."

Farm director Michael Johnson said the pair grew up together.

"It's amazing the amount of people that comes through here and they comment on the animals, seeing them lay together and play together," said Johnson. "When one of them's not out, I've gotten calls from them asking where's the red steer or where's the little pony."

The annual Chincoteague Fire Company's Pony Penning Auction will take place next week--Thursday, July 30, to be exact.

Here's an interesting story on the Feather Fund, a group that funds pony purchases for special kids.  

The group's mission, from their Web site:  

The Feather Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to continue the work begun by Carollynn Suplee to assist deserving children with the purchase and attendant costs associated with the acquisition of Chincoteague ponies, with the goal of helping each child learn about responsibility, care, love, work ethic, as well as the concept of "giving back to others" through the care and training of his or her animal.

If you're going, the Feather Fund group will be sporting pink and green shirts, and the award winners will hold a feather in the air when they bid.