A little neglect may breed mischief …
for want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
for want of a shoe the horse was lost;
and for want of a horse the rider was lost. -Benjamin Franklin, from Poor Richard’s Almanac
I have been thinking of this proverb for all the years that I’ve been a country bumpkin. Substitute “nail” with “fence” and you’ll see what I am getting at: many country problems are solved (magically) by fences.
However, I have…commitment issues with fences! I just hate them. I hate erecting them, I hate maintaining them, I hate negotiating them, and I hate looking at them. Would that I could let my poultry truly free-range. They’d be happier, surely. Happier, and probably dead. My garden would be decimated, though, by digging chicken feet. I would never harvest a ripe tomato without a peck mark in it.
Fences, however, aren’t all bad! Containment helps; one of the reasons we didn’t get our dairy goats this year is we hadn’t a fenced-in area in which to pen them. I would be able to find *all* eggs should the girls be enclosed in a chicken-proof run. And our turkey could sit on her eggs unmolested had her pen’s fence been tighter. And the geese: well. The secret with them is to simply build something so high they can’t fly out of it.
But back to the proverb. It’s not a fence I have been missing for all these years, it’s a post-hole auger! (smacks forehead.)
Beast, in repose