SOLSC: The Electric Fence

March 6, 2012

My husband is the youngest of five. At the dinner table, Rick will often share stories of his younger days, some as a lesson to correlate with our children and some just for a great laugh. No matter what kind, his stories create connections that brings our family closer together. He shared one recently that brought quite a ruckus of reaction. I wonder how you will react.

Rick lived on a farm with his four siblings. His parents had huge, loving hearts with plenty of room, so they invited in foster kids. With five more added, ten kids had plenty to do on the farm and plenty of adventures too.

Rick and his older brother, Bart, were out in the pasture one day. A new foster kid, Joe, had come from the city and had curiosity larger than most. “Joe usually acted before listening,” my husband remarked. Shaking his head, Rick added, “Which caused Joe some well-felt-knock-in-the-head kind of common sense.”

My kids leaned in a little closer. They knew this story was going to be a good one.

“On the farm, as long as you did your chores on time, you had time to explore and do things you didn’t have to ask permission about. You just had fun. There were boundaries, though, that we just knew. Like, you didn’t go near the bull. You were just asking for trouble. If something went wrong, you didn’t tell Mom; you just fixed it and learned to not do that again. (Tim looked at Wes; they smiled.) Days on the farm were great, especially in the summer.” Rick took a breath and continued.

“When boys feel nature calling during chores, on the farm, you just find a tree, make a deposit, and continue working. (Elizabeth wrinkled her nose.) At the electric fence, well you just knew to stay away from it. We had tried touching it with sticks, and once, yes, I actually touched it. ZZZZZ. Didn’t like that feeling, so I just stayed away. (My kids and I chuckled.)  These were things we knew and learned.

But not the new city kid, Joe. No, it didn’t matter what we would say; Joe didn’t listen. No, he had more curiosity than common sense. So one day while we were working in the pasture, they hadn’t given all the “safety” rules about the electric fence. Before we could say, ‘Don’t go near the electric fence’, City Boy decides to make his natue-calling-deposit  ON THE ELECTRIC FENCE. Before the yell of ‘Stop’, a large ZAP sizzled and ‘AWWWWW”rang out.” (Our boys were erupting in laughter and awwwws themselves. Elizabeth and I joined in the laughter too as Rick just shook his head, recalling the memory.)

Rick ended, “Some lessons City Boy Joe learned the hard and a bit painful way.”