On raising mighty humans
I told our teenage daughter to build me the hottest electric gate she could muster. Seems the three new Red Polls we bought, that were “trained to electric fence”, were actually not. Always exciting to wake up to cattle chewing their cud on your front lawn after a night of wild shenanigans. Oh well, better my front lawn than the back lake.
As any good farm kid would, she finds tasks to be challenges of the highest order. “How juicy can you get it?” she wants to know, referring to the current in the line. The nearest human her marker of what and who needs to be one-upped. “Oh, somewhere around 9ish”, I reply. I have no idea, I just need that line hot to send those wily heifers a message.
I continued on with my farm chores, laughing as I saw her moving the grounding rod, shortening the line, and then pouring water around the base of the grounding rod for maximum conductivity. She would try one modification, test the line, think for a bit, and then add another element. I even watched as she carried a huge marine battery across the field to exchange it for one that was fully charged. I’m strong, but that kid is strong on a whole other level.
In the end, she gave a triumphant hoot and exclaimed “Oh yeah!!! 11.9, BABY! 11.9!!!” That’s juicy, alright.
She was calling back to a Mourning Dove while she was working on the fence. The two of them going back and forth with that lonesome, solemn call. I don’t know how many other sixteen year old girls got to spend a morning like this, on the land, with the animals, challenging their minds and bodies to deliver what they need to achieve something and then celebrate in their ability to do it. I wish more. I’m glad she’s one of them.