I met a beautiful mule this morning, alerted to her presence by the unearthly sound of her braying. She's new to the barn, and I found out later that she's just in a stall for a week or so before moving out to the pasture to join the herd. She seemed restive and nervous, so I just stood outside her stall for probably half an hour, watching her out of the corner of my eye. At first she was shy and cautious, but after a few minutes she came and stood right beside me.
Eventually she lost her worried look and started yawning. I'm not sure exactly what this yawning means in horse language, but last weekend I watched a friend yawn back at a nervous rescued pony. So I yawned back at the mule. She replied with another yawn, I responded in kind. The two of us stood there for a few minutes yawning at each other--must have been quite a sight, if anyone had been watching!
Then, looking much more calm, she went over and finished her breakfast. Was this mule therapy? Don't know; but I sure feel better now.