Thursday, January 04, 2007

Electric fence, the prequel

There’s a history of fencing and electrification in our family, and the earliest example of this is my grandfather’s prize bull.
This big mean bastard would break out of anything, and if the SOB started feeding in Gramma’s vegetable patch, you can bet your ass that someone was gonna get an asswhipping.
Now, gramps wasn’t adverse to asswhippings, in fact he delivered them with a sort of a flair that you don’t see today- when MY father was of such an age, the asswhippings consisted of a couple of strands of barbed wire- dad’s back, all his life, looked like raw burger meat, having been flayed and healed badly over and over. By my time, it was usually the old man’s cane, a bamboo thing that hurt badly enough that you wished it were barbedwire.No, Gramps had no problem delivering asswhippings, but I suspect he was getting his own asswhipping, figuratively, as the bull had already worked it’s way through a whole goddamned row of leaf lettuce. Gramma was pissed.
SO gramps bought a fence charger. We strung two lengths of wire, eighteen inches apart, one at the top of the existing board fence.
We tied rags onto the wire at regular intervals so the bull knew it was there. Couple times it got hit, but it was still working out a way, and we could sense it. Finally, one day, we SAW the sonofabitch life up it’s hoof, and snap first one wire then the other. And walk on through.
SO the old man got a mason jar of sorghum molasses, and soaked two ears of dried field corn in it. They soaked there a week, until the ears swelled up and the kernels were nearly popping off.
Gramps tied those ears to the wires with red shop rags, and we sit back and wait.
The bull, having just been carefully herded back into the pen, waits until we’re out of sight, and wanders up to the wire. We see it pick up a hoof to try to snap the wire, and then it spots the corn.
Now, a bull has a tongue that will put even that freak of nature Vman to shame, a couple of feet of sinuous flesh long enough to clean it’s nose or give itself a reacharound. This big bastard slips that tongue out and wraps it around that ear, and gives it a big old lick. It draws back (gramps has the charger unplugged)and smacks it’s lips, and then wraps that tongue around the ear a couple of times. Gramps turns the charger on ’steady’ (the setting that keeps it on all the time) and the bull opens it’s eues so large you can see substantially more white than dark; then it lets go and the tongue hangs lolling out of the mouth like a big limp dick, and it says “muaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhrrrrr”
deep breath “MMOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHRRER” and kept doing that for an hour.
From that momenht on, the bull, though still mean as shit, would stop in it’s tracks and piss itself if you pulled a red rag out of your pocket.
Nice, too, because there was a nice big apple tree in the middle of that field.