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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of ďA Stitch in Time Saves NineĒ (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Mending Fences
By Emily Gibson
01/03/08


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Our horses must have a migration center in their brain that tells them that it is time to move on to other territory, a move based on quality of forage, the seasons, or maybe simply a sudden urge for a change in scenery. The trouble is, they seem to have the desire to "move on to greener pastures" even if the grass in their own territory is plentiful and the view is great. There doesn't seem to be a man-made barrier that will discourage them despite our regular preventive maintenance on our electric wire and bright white tape fences. Only a momentís inattention, such as leaving the fence inadvertently unplugged for a few minutes, may result in a dayís worth of repair work.

I have a trio of yearlings (the "Three Musketeers") who are particularly afflicted with wanderlust. There is not a field yet that has held them when they decide together that it is time to move on. These three actually seem to have little conferences together out in the field plotting their escape. I've seen them huddled together, seemingly discussing their strategy, and fifteen minutes later, I'll look out my kitchen window and they are galloping in another field and the wire and tape is strewn everywhere and there's not a mark on any of them.

Last night, when I brought them in from a totally different field from where they had started in the morning, they all seemed to smirk at me as they marched to their stalls as if to say, "guess what you have waiting for you out there." It was too dark to survey the damage last night but I got up extra early to check it out this morning before I turned them out again.

Sure enough, in the back corner of the field they had been put in yesterday morning, (which has plenty of grass), the tape had been stretched, but not broken, and the wires popped off their insulators and dragging on the ground and in a huge tangled mass. I enjoyed 45 minutes of foggy morning putting it all back together. Then I put them out in the field they had escaped to last night, thinking, "okay, if you like this field so well, this is where you'll stay".

Tonight, they were back in the first field where they started yesterday morning. They are thoroughly enjoying this sport.

Iíll need to find a grand mega-wattage fry-their-whiskers fence charger and that might put a stop to the daily messy repair jobs.

But then, I'd be spoiling their fun and their travels. As long as they stay off the road, out of my flowers, and out of my kitchen, they can have the run of the home place. Soon enough they will settle into respecting boundaries.

Fences, well maintained and enforced, like rules and laws, define order and structure. They can bite back if they are breached. If crashed and broken, they can be hazardous in and of themselves, not withstanding the potential dangers that lay beyond them. Remove them altogether and risk chaos.

I remember being adolescent long ago, and wanting to see the big wide world, no matter what obstacles had to be overcome, the shocks I had to endure to get there, or the messes I created as a result. Ironically, I got there after all that trouble and effort and realized that finding my way back home was really what I wanted after all.

As a result, I have learned to accept boundaries with renewed humility, recognizing their necessity is due to my own imperfect judgment. Thankfully, it didn't require a singe on my whiskers to help me pay attention.


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This article has been read 667 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 01/10/08
Lovely devotional that is beautifully illustrated by the wayward horses. The message at the end is a great tie-in to the first part of your article!
Debbie Wistrom01/10/08
Oh how we strain at the restrictions put on us by others (the world). I could identify with your fence mender and was touched by the forgiving manner she had for her animals.
Hanne Moon 01/10/08
I loved this story! I have six horses of my own, and have found they can provide an untold wealth of writing material! I had three paint colts that I also named the "Three Muskateers" (they ate a Sunbird Convertible). I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Marita Thelander 01/10/08
Nice devo. I could picture the horses smirk.
Deborah Engle 01/11/08
This was excellent. Devotionals don't usually hold my attention, but this captivated me. Nicely done.
Joanne Sher 01/12/08
Great analogy, and I love the bits of humor you worked into this. Fun read.
Debi Derrick01/12/08
This was really, really good. Thoroughly enjoyed the quality of writing and the treatment of the subject.