Friday, November 16, 2012

Fences From the Past

This roll of barbed wire reminds me of when I was a little girl, walking with my daddy or brother up to check the crops or trap pocket gophers.  Back in those days our cows roamed and grazed the pastures, and barbed-wire fences kept them out of our corn, oats, and hay fields.  Crossing a fence for a little girl meant either going under the wires, between the wires, or over the wires.  It was so much fun to lay on the ground and roll or wiggle myself under the wire, but I felt like a princess when daddy or bro lifted or separated the wires for me to get first experience with chivalry.

Nowadays we don't see fences.  Agricultural practices have giantized the herds of cattle, and no more are cows able to freely roam and graze the green pastures.  Instead, they are incarcerated inside huge milking set-ups and won't ever know what it's like to walk their worn path home at milking time.

The sentimental sally in me misses the fence rows and the small herds of contented cows.  A big part of being who we are is how it was when we were growing up.  I remember daddy fixing the fences, and I'd go with him to keep him company.  As far as helping him, well, I would have been as helpful as a crooked nail.  It was cherished time spent with the guy who worked a small farm, raised 20 cattle at a time, and proudly provided for his family of four.  I remember daddy saying, "there'll come a day when they'll take our small farms away."  And, I'll be darned, he was right.

Today we see corporate agriculture......big money........big everything.  But, once in awhile, along the roadside, we come across the skeletal remains of the past tied into rolls, left to whisper the story of a kinder time.....for man and for animal.