playing the sacrificial mule

minhduc

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hi all, please explain to me the meaning of the bold one in this context. It's from Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Probably Patch is a drug dealer. No. Probably he’s an arms dealer and has Rixon out playing the sacrificial mule, gunrunning for free and risking his neck.

Thanks
 
  • kitenok

    Senior Member
    This strikes me as a mixed metaphor, minhduc. Normally we might use the phrase "sacrificial lamb" to describe someone who is put in a dangerous position so that others remain safe. We might also use "mule" as a metaphor for someone who carries something (in this case, guns) for someone else. In this case, the author has combined the two into "sacrificial mule." It's not a common expression, but it is easily understandable.
     
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