If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a couple of Northern residents should be blushing from ear to ear.

A meme made of the original photo | From Derrick Passey

A photo taken last year by Derrick Passey and his son, in which they appear to be riding mules through high snow, has been made into many different memes and even has some Facebook users replicating the shot.

After a snowfall in March of last year, Passey and his son took the photo on their property, about 35 kilometres west of Prince George, and posted it with the caption “Decker and I decided to saddle up the mules and go for a ride. Northern BC.”

“We stepped off the deck into the snow and just sort of did it on a whim, we had no idea it would be such a big deal but in a pretty short period of time it had shares all over the world.”

He estimates the photo and memes of it have been shared upwards of 100 thousand times. It’s been spotted with captions claiming it’s from Montana, Wyoming, and numerous European and Asian countries.

It’s even received some negative backlash on how they are treating the animals, though there are none and the snow is only about three feet high.

“The biggest thing was the people asking how they breathe, and people getting mad because it’s inhumane to ride mules like that. Hundreds of them are really mad. It’s crazy, we were just joking.”

Passey said while he doesn’t have plans for any more fame-worthy photos at the moment, you never know what his brain is going to think of next.

“We did it just to make people smile. We just did it on a gloomy March day hoping someone would get a kick out of it and it looks like they did.”

A copycat photo of the mule riders | Photo from Derrick Passey

The original post from Passey in March 2018.