Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Shocking Story

I spent most of this morning moving cattle in the rain and that involved hooking and unhooking electric fences that we use a lot in our pasture management program. Reminded me of a famous story about me that the kids like to hear.

It was the spring of '92. Actually I don't remember what spring it was but it seems like a lot of good stories start out that way so we'll go with '92. It was a rainy, muddy day and we'd been moving cows with new baby calves all day to different pastures. With a steady drizzle and mud everywhere, it was impossible to stay dry. You just had to gut it out and hope for the end of the day. Towards dark I had to check one more pen of heifers. I took off on our three wheeler after asking my son, "Did you turn off the electric fence?" To which he replied, "Yes, I did". But apparently he didn't and there's still a lot of controversy how the exchange of dialog went but he swears it was just a misunderstanding. Anyway, imagine me rolling along on the three wheeler, coming to the electric fence that holds the cattle in their pasture. Common practice was to bend over, lift the wire above you and cruise right into the pasture. And it was a good idea to slow down at this spot anyway because there was a huge puddle right below the fence(now you're getting excited about this story, right?). Anyway, when I grabbed the fence, as you will already have guessed, it was pulsating out about 7000 volts and I was pinned under the wire on the three wheeler getting the dickens shocked out of me. The only escape was to roll off the three wheeler onto the ground and as you remember, that allowed me to drop into a huge mud puddle.

I lay there for a while, trying to regain my senses, trying to remember what it is was I was wanting to do, then stood up and just caught the tip of my ear on the fence. Anyway, people who know me, hear me tell this story and then nod knowingly as if to say this incident might explain a lot of my day to day behavior.


  1. Picking 1992 puts Jeff at 5.5 years old, and you depended on him to unplug the electric fence? I'll never forget the time you and I startled a baby calf under an electric fence. He jumped up, got shocked, and decided 5 year old Lindsay is to blame!

  2. I also remember you grabbing hold of an electric fence wire after plugging it in yourself just moments before.

  3. Dad, please, PLEASE tell the story about the electric fence and the time you took your muddy boots off...remember? trailer backed against the fence??