may 9, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

“I looked down at the little glass globe [necklace], at the tiny [mustard] seed inside, not entirely understanding what Mama was trying to tell me. ‘It’s so small,’ I said. She patted my leg, smiling. ‘For now, but Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”‘ ~ Mary Carroll-Hackett


don't fence me in
don’t fence me in


When I was five, mom and I went up a holler to visit friends. There was an electric barbed wire fence between their yard and the pasture. They had a litter of kittens. From the porch I caught a glimpse of them. I went into the yard to get a closer look. The more I followed, the faster they ran. They went under the fence. Of course, I grabbed the wire (you knew I would). I tried to pull my hand away, but I couldn’t. So I grabbed my wrist with my other hand and pulled. Like a magnet, the current drew that hand to the wire. There I was, staring at a litter of kittens, with both hands wrapped around a live electric fence unable to move. I must have been screaming because lickity split there were three adults around me. Mom was the first to arrive, but she alone couldn’t release me. It took all three adults to pull me off that fence. That’s some juice! Despite being electrocuted, I was fine, except for my left index finger. The current caused my hands to jump rapidly, much like you see in the movies. I helplessly watched my hands being carried ever closer to a barb until my finger landed atop it, piercing the skin and sinking down to the bone. I didn’t feel it. All I could feel was electricity, but even that didn’t necessarily hurt. It was so intense I can’t really describe it, but I do remember thinking, ‘Now I’ve had it! And I didn’t even get to pet a kitten! How am I going to get loose before mom finds me?” I never caught the kittens, though I earned an impressive scar for trying. As for the angry mom factor, I think she was so happy I was alive that she reckoned the electrocution was punishment enough. I got hugs and kisses and a bandaid instead (we didn’t do doctors and stitches back then). This mother’s day weekend, whether your mother is still alive or not, thank her for all the live wires she pulled you from, and all the hurts she kissed away. Don’t chase cats, and never, ever touch an electric fence.

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