Wild Burro Tales: Thirty Years of Haulin’ Ass
By Hal Walter
Out There Publishing, 2010
Reviewed by Teresa Cutler-Broyles
“Hang on. Don’t let go.”
So Hal Walter tells us in Wild Burro Tales, his wonderful new collection that takes us on a wild ride through the exciting and overlooked sport of pack-burro racing, and his life with the creatures that give it all meaning.
At first glance the book appears to be, simply, about burros and the relatively obscure and unusual sport of running marathon distances partnered with an animal not known for its cooperative nature. Indeed, the stories – 19 in all, punctuated with brief asides that take on a life of their own in their ability to hit hard – are ostensibly about Walter’s experiences with pack-burro racing and the people and animals who make the sport what it is. For anyone interested in knowing the facts – where pack-burro racing originated, why it continues today, what sorts of skills and hardships are encompassed – Wild Burro Tales certainly delivers. And Walter touches on Wild West legend as well as hard 20th century reality as he opens that world for us.