And Then They Were Gone…

Woke up this morning again thinking about something I saw when I was framing a garage on  the Johnny Jones farm.

Just to the east of the garage was a large pasture.  Probably 75 to 100 acres.  There was a small creek cutting diagonally through the pasture.  If you were a cow, that would have been paradise.  Steve Leytem (another farmer)  had a small herd of beef cattle grazing the field.  Once a day, Steve would stop by with a tractor and feed wagon, to supplement what they were getting off the field.  He had 4 or 5 long wooden bunks in the middle of the field, as soon as the cattle could hear the tractor coming down the road they would head to the feed bunks.

(Think Pavlov’s dog) 😉

One morning when we arrived at the job, I noticed several gates  set up close to the feed bunks…not all the way around mind  you just on 2 sides.

Cows are simple creatures, but they are not stupid. ….introduce something new in their environment, and they get nervous.

Steve dumped the feed into the bunks like normal, and within just a few minutes, the herd, overcame their fear of the gates,  crowded up to the feed bunks and that was that.

Two days later I noticed more gates had been set up..this time they were on 3 sides of the feed bunks…

Same  thing happened…when the cows heard the tractor coming down the road they got excited, ran over to the feed bunk area, but weren’t quite sure what to think of this new section of fence…eventually their desire for feed overcame their fear of the unknown and life was back to normal.

When we got to work two days later, there was an eerie silence in the field.

All of the cattle were gone.

They’d been loaded up.

I looked over @ the feed bunk area and it was completely surrounded by cattle fence…one last panel had swung open…to accommodate the cattle truck that had backed up to the enclosure.

The cows never saw it coming.

One minute they were free, the next, they were gone.

I’m tempted to tell you about the fences I see being set up right now in our country.

Not physical fences, mind you but just as real.

I can see them and  want to stay as far away from them as I possibly can.

Problem is, most of the herd doesn’t seem to care.


I wrote this post November of 2012.  When I wrote it, while I could have listed specific fences  I chose not to.  It is three years later and I finally  get it.

After watching the Kitty Werthmann presentation and the way she described  the quiet, slow, intentional, methodical way Austria was taken over I now have a name for it.


When Socialism, (or any other freedom  sucking belief system comes to power, then look out.)

That cattle feed that magically gets delivered every morning by that nice farmer comes with a price.


17 thoughts on “And Then They Were Gone…

  1. Interesting analogy about the cattle fences. We get used to the slow incremental changes to our freedoms. Last night I read that America is now 12th in the world for economic freedoms, rather than first or second. We also watched Woman in Gold, a lovely movie, a true story about the Austrian government’s resistance to one woman’s fight to restore her families art and valuables to her and her family that had been originally stolen by the Nazis. What was so chilling about the movie is that in the flashbacks, we see how unsuspecting the Austrians were when in 1938 they surrendered themselves to the security of the Nazis not realizing what they were giving up for a little security. They put up the fences, stole their property, and eventually, and ironically, herded them onto cattle cars to the ovens. I’m aware that Kitty Werthmann may have exaggerated, or that she may be making broad generalities and comparisons, and I doubt we’ll ever face the ovens. But if you had told six million Jews and another five million Christians, gypsies, political dissidents that there would be death camps, they would have laughed in your face.

    Liked by 3 people

    • what a powerful timely movie…and how ironic, that those poor people were loaded into cattle cars. What an ironic powerful twist. Thanks for the comment! DM


  2. I’m currently reading Friedrich Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom.” I think you’d find it interesting. Here’s one quotation which complements what you’ve written:

    “Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people.

    The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed.

    There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

    There certainly are a lot of fence-builders around. Many of the planks they’re using are hewn from political correctness, collectivist viewpoints, and contempt for the individual.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is a timely book on this subject… (great minds think alike ) 😉 You touched on some additional fences I never thought of…(political correctness, etc) A fence to me now is any idea, movement, etc. designed to take away my freedom. Thanks for you words of wisdom! DM


  3. A coworker who keeps his finger on the pulse of car news says there’s talk of mandating rear-view cameras in all new cars. Say what?? And driverless cars are the way of the future. Yeah. You just watch me go out and buy a driverless car. Don’t hold your breath.
    I have a feeling that’s not exactly the fences being imposed you were referring to, but they’re some of many.
    Can you stop the world, please? I want to get off.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Vigilance is ever important DM, but (unsurprisingly) I have an optimistic view of the future. We’re experiencing change faster now than at any time in the history of humanity. We’re bound to make some mistakes, but when we do I trust we’ll learn from them. All considered, we seem to me to be handling things pretty well. No doubt there is going to be a change of guard, as there have been many times before in history. That obviously feels uncomfortable but is probably as inevitable as tomorrow’s sunrise. I’m feeling encouraged today after spending a couple of days at a farm stewardship conference and being in the company of lots of inspiring young folks determined (it seems) to be a force for good in the world. It will likely be a bumpy road, but I choose to believe that the journey we’re on leads to a time when we turn weapons into farm tools, everyone sits under his own fig tree, and no one is afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know the scripture of which you speak..I think the bumpy road (great word picture) will be a lot rougher than my generation has ever experienced. The tensions I observe in our culture today, remind me of the several years leading up to the American Civil war…I was reading some early American poetry and the poet alluded to that tension 20 or 30 years before things finally popped. One of my concerns is how it seems certain segments in our culture (mainstream media for example) seem to intentionally fan the flame of discontent, division, conflict, etc..just like this current flack about the Starbucks cups..that stuff is petty nonsense./ non-news, and yet people on both sides are getting riled up/ manipulated. Feel like I’m on the playground at recess in grade school and all the grown ups have gone missing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Man, I would love to sit down and have conversations with both you and Bill on your perspectives. I love history, but I haven’t kept up with my reading (which is why I would enjoy talking with you).

        Anyway, you and the comments bring out some very good points.

        Liked by 1 person

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