Mule Eggs

by Cynthia DeFelice
Pictures by Mike Shenon
© 1994

The Story

A funny retelling of a classic folktale tells how a city slicker, who has recently moved to the country and has been sold “mule eggs” that are really just pumpkins by a crafty farmer, manages to have the last laugh.


A Best Book of 1994, New York Public Library
Listed in Book Links Salutes a Few Good Books for 1994

A Note from the Author

“Transmogrification potion?! You can’t use a big word like that in a picture book!” And why not? Every child knows exactly what that word means when Patrick rubs his potion on a pumpkin, thinking it’s an egg laid by a mama mule, with a little, bitty mule colt inside about to hatch. If he’s lucky, there might even be twins in there!

The idea came while I was taking a walk one fall day, looking at field after field of ripe, orange pumpkins. This is a sight we’re quite accustomed to seeing in rural, upstate New York. But, I wondered, what might a city slicker imagine those big orange objects to be? And what might he pay for one?

The story has lots of familiar folktale elements, including the comeuppance of the wily farmer who tricks Patrick, the innocent hero. Mike Shenon’s illustrations bring out the humor and the vibrant colors of fall.


“DeFelice tells her tale humorous trickster tale with dry wit and just a touch of down-home drawl, and Shenon’s craggy, autumn-colored mixed-media illustrations are wonderfully expressive.” – Horn Book

“DeFelice’s prank-filled tale is bound to get young readers laughing….Thickly textured pastels by Shenon keep the mood light and the action lively.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Sorry, this book is out of print.