I recently learned that the term "red neck" has a noble origin. Courageous coal miners literally went to war against the greedy, evil coal companies, to the point of violence and death. The miners striking against the company wore red bandannas around their throats. A journalist chronicling the violent struggle termed them "red necks". After learning of the martyred coal miners, I hate to call anyone a red neck any more because in the Kansas vernacular there is nothing courageous or good in the term.
Last night my horse was out of the pasture again. She was at the barn eating hay to her heart's content, as many bales as she could reach. I have a good fence and good gates and wondered how in the world she had escaped this time. After luring her back into the pasture with peppermints, I searched for the escape route. I started with walking the fence. I found a very large tree branch fallen across the wire. I heaved it off the fence and to the other side, then repaired the top wire as well as I could with my bare hands, but there was no way she got out there.
Eventually, I got to the far southeastern corner of the pasture. There I found the gate opened wide and on the ground. I was instantly angry. In the first place, my pasture is clearly posted for no hunting. I need to add no trespassing signs as well! As I struggled to untangle the barbed wire gate, straighten the bent wires, and stretch the gate back to its original size, I was boiling mad that someone had the audacity to trespass on my property in the first place, and to be ignorant enough to leave a stock gate open in the second place.
As I was working, I was composing signs to post on the gate:
"If You MF'ers Leave This Gate Open Again, I'll Hunt You Down"
"If You SOB Hunters Leave This Gate Open, I'll Blow Up Your Truck"
"Leave This Gate Open Again, They'll Never Find Your Body"
I was so angry but in the wide open spaces of a beautiful spring evening, with my normally snotty horse being quite companionable and curious, and the old dog snuffling around for rabbits, I just could not keep the rage going. Farmers and ranchers have this problem all the time. They could post even more militant signs, I am certain.
My horse could have been on the road and been killed or injured. Worse, a human being could have been involved, possibly hurt or killed as well. It is usually not a small accident when livestock is in the road.
Born and raised in Kansas, I know full well that I have red neck genes - and not the noble coal miner red neck genes, either. I am inundated with red neck tendencies, steeped in them. I have spent a lifetime attempting to rise above it but it only takes an open gate for that heritage to come flaming to the top. It is why I do not own a gun.