Even though you don’t want it to, you try to pay attention so it doesn’t happen, and you take extra precautions to prevent it, you are bound to get shocked by an electric fence if you live your life surrounded by cows. I’ve only been shocked once in ten years and that was enough for me.
Back when my husband and I were still dating, and I was still glad to help him whenever I could, he convinced me to water his calves everyday. It was at the farm we currently live on, but we hadn’t built our house yet, so I would drive over, park at the end of the nonexistent driveway, and walk into where the calves were. I’d fill up their water tank and sometimes feed them if they were bottle calves. This was in July, so I’d be hot, sweaty, and beet red from exertion after this. Little calves, left to their own devices, are kind of idiots. This chore generally included finding them, chasing them, and some serious basketball defensive moves to get them to go where they actually wanted to be, but were too stupid to know it.
One afternoon, after an excruciatingly long battle with the calves, my future husband showed up on the tractor as I was going back to my car. He was going to brush hog and asked if I’d like to ride along. I was drained, it was so very hot, and I needed some water, but I went along anyway because love makes you do stupid things. If you’ve gotten a read on my husband yet from these blogs, you should be picturing a tractor without a cab, therefore, no A.C. We rode along for I don’t know how long. I was sweltering and was losing track of time. Finally, when we went back to my car, I realized my keys were missing.
Picture It. I reached into my pocket, finding nothing, knowing, remembering that they had been in my pocket when I took my initial walk out to the calves, then turning and looking out at what seemed like endless acres that I had either run in while chasing calves or rode through while on the tractor. It was summer time, the grass was tall, and even in the places that had been cut, it was just so much area. It seemed hopeless, but my future husband convinced me to look with him. I wanted to cry. I was lightheaded and cranky by this time, but I had no other choice. My other set of keys had been M.I.A. for a few weeks, lost at work, and wouldn’t reappear for another six months.
We looked and looked, did what every mom suggests, and retraced our steps with no luck. My husband’s uncle Roy, who lives right next to the farm, noticed us and came out to ask what we were doing and suggested that he help with a metal detector. His uncle is the sweetest person, very helpful and quiet. I was sunburned, tired, and hot, so much so that I thought I was going to be sick, but I agreed because he wanted to be helpful. Between his yard and the farm is a barbed wire fence with an electric wire three-quarters of the way up. Roy handed my husband the metal detector and started to climb through the wires as I held them apart while keeping my distance from the hot wire.
I was so hot, sweaty, and tired though. I kept my eyes on the hot wire, yet, while Roy was climbing through, I could see the wire getting closer and closer, but I couldn’t stop my body. I was mentally screaming no, but my body was too tired to pull back. As Roy was halfway through, it popped on my shoulder. I don’t know if it was from my exhaustion, or since I was holding metal, or the voltage was high, but it really, really, really hurt. It was ranked as most painful experience until I had my son. It felt like a very long time, but was just a split second. As the current ran through my body, I let go of the barbed wire, leaving Roy trapped to listen to the cursing that flew from my mouth like a sailor.
“God d&#@, M$*)@% #*&@#$, @#%^& (# @%!& @)&^ #%^&@(%.......” And on and on.
It went on quite a while.
When I finally looked back at Roy, still trapped, all he said in an almost preacher/southern gentlemen way was, “Oh dear.”
I never did find those keys and at that point I really didn’t care. I’d rather leave my keys in the car with the windows rolled down and let it get stolen before I went through that mess again. Now I am extra vigilant about the fences too, keeping a healthy distance, and I generally talk my way out of farm chores anyway. My husband already married me. No need to impress him with helpfulness or shaved legs anymore, right?