Readers Cast


Dick Taylor - Apr 3, 2016

Was remembering several camping and fishing trips that we took several years ago with our two boys, ages 9 and 12, and one in particular came to mind. We were camped in our small pop up camper on a small piece of land that was rented as a campground by a local farmer, which also had access to the Shenandoah River in Virginia. The fresh water supply came from a small pipe and pump handle arrangement just outside a fenced in pasture where several cows resided. The farmer told us not to touch the fence as it was electrified to keep the cows from breaking through to the campground and also to keep them out of the river.

The first day I went for water the boys came up the hill with me and, of course, the youngest one headed right for the fence and promptly touched it. He didn't hold on to it for long though as it did its job very well according to the sudden howl emanating about eight feet from the pump. Next day we repeated the trip with dire warnings about DO NOT TOUCH THE FENCE AGAIN! Of course that lasted all of about two minutes. As I was holding the bucket and our oldest son was helping me work the pump handle junior abruptly touched the fence again. But, this time he was also grasping his brother's arm and so we all three participated in the St. Vitus dance when the current did the usual sparkling blast.

And now we come to a time way earlier in the past when I was a mere child of about ten or eleven. My buds and I liked to bicycle across town to a little gem of a stream that was stocked a few times a year but unknown to many others it also contained a healthy mess of native brook trout too.

The brookies resided further down the stream near where a small tributary entered from a nearby spring. It kept the water at a tolerable temperature for the brookies all summer long. The downstream area was also divided by a little patch of woods and briar infested scrub brush. It also was fenced off because it contained a few head of cattle and the farmer didn't want them getting in the stream.

As this happened in the summer time, the woodsy portion was in full bloom including all the scrub brush with various flowers and leaves. It covered pretty much the whole side of the fence before we could access the brookie cold water hole that contained a goodly portion of small ones all year round. After catching a few stocker rainbows upstream we decided to try our hand at the brookies. And one of my buds wanted to try "belly tickling" one of them to the surface as we had been told it was possible if you were very quiet and stealthy. One of the crew claimed he had done it once before but we pooh poohed him to a fare thee well when he spouted that tall tale.

I announced that before we went any further there was the imminent requirement to relieve one's self before we left the cover of the present woodsy area that kept us out of view of anyone that might happen by. As probably guessed by now I didn't see the electric fence that was hidden from view pretty much with brush and brambles and proceeded to relieve myself directly upon it. I can only say that going to a multiple dental drilling procedure would have been much more welcome then the aftermath of what happened next!
To this day one of my friends reminds me of that scenario of long ago every so often. And even more, when an audience is available, he is prone to demonstrate how high I jumped while crouch grabbing and hollering. So the moral of the story is: Don't be grabbing or otherwise come in contact with an electric fence in ANY MANNER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!


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