“Fences make good neighbors” are words to take to heart. Not to live by, just to be aware of.

There is a difference, a world of difference between living by, and being aware of. My fence is there for a reason. Not to keep me in or you out. Just to let me know where to stop spraying weeds.

Oh and to keep wayward big animals off my lawn. Well that didn’t work out so well last week.

I have seen more than my share of critters scurrying across my lawn over the years I have lived on this piece of dirt I call home.

“Rabbits and coyotes and deer, Oh my!” An occasional lion or chucker when the snow was very deep. Sage hens in the late summer have been know to visit and drink water from the water tub I have for outside cats here.

Even an antelope that came through the gate and couldn’t figure out how to retrace its steps to get out of the 5 acre yard my fence surrounds.

I watched until the silly thing crawled out under the barbed wire fence. Quite unique. Unfortunately the antelope then found itself in a field that was also fenced. We all deal with unique circumstances don’t we?

Every fence has a gate. If there were not gates we would all have to crawl out under the bottom wire or between the third and fourth wire or, yikes, hot foot it carefully over the top wire.

There’s an art to climbing over the top wire. I’d bet at least two spools of dark blue thread that most rural women I know have sewed many nether regions of jeans that didn’t make it all the way across the top wire of a barbed wire fence.

Sometimes after all is said and done after doing something that, well that was probably not a very smart thing to do, my pea brain wakes up and suddenly I am stopped by the thought, “Well what in the world was I thinking.” A few days ago I did just that. I got home from a short day trip to a neighboring town and when I got back. Well let me start at the beginning.

I live next to Open Range. Where a rancher leases the land for their cattle from BLM (Bureau of Land Management).

Most of the time it works well. The gate to my yard is on the side where the range is and I know when to keep my gate closed. But. Yes an open gate “but.” I hadn’t seen any cows out in the brush by my house all summer.

I heard some a few weeks ago but they never showed up. I thought they must’ve been penned up somewhere, their moos carrying on the early morning air. All that being said, I left a few days ago and I did not close the gate. I drove right out.

I got home that afternoon, popped out of my car and noticed that the big black five gallon water tub on the edge of my lawn that I keep full for those aforementioned cats, was completely empty.

I thought that was weird… Then I saw unmistakable marks that something big crossed my beautifully smooth, worked all summer on, pretty lawn. Dang. I followed the trail across the back, around a huge evergreen tree and that’s where I — came face to face with a HUGE maybe 2200 pound, black as the night, bull.

HAHA I really don’t know who was more surprised. He or I. I looked him right in his wide open eyes and said, “Well? You just gonna stand there or get off my lawn!” I clapped my hands at him and he kinda snorted and flipped his tail.

I have no words as to why he turned and started to move. In the opposite direction. Thank you Lord.

Me on foot behind this big boy talking at his rump he kept moving. Just as he was about to step off the lawn he stopped to leave me a last juicy calling card. I laughed saying, “Well thank you very much Fernando.”

We continued around a tree, down to the gate where he thankfully went out, turned around and just stood there. Both standing our ground I closed the gate. I said some, well some colorful cowgirl words as he wandered down the road.

A week later I was watching bull riders on TV. Then it hit me.

How stupid Trina! I guess either ignorance is bliss or someone was looking out for me. I like to think the latter.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her funny books are available online wherever you buy books. Or e-mail her at itybytrina@yahoo.com for signed copies.

Really!