Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Power of Stupidity

A lot of folks hate American Electric Power for jacking up its rates to never-before-heard of highs. Letters in the Roanoke, Franklin County, and Smith Mountain Lake newspapers criticize AEP for its sky-rocketing rates. Folks in Franklin County hate that the big power poles and lines will go through their property. I hate that I will have to see these poles and lines from my pasture.

This evening, I found a new reason to hate AEP.

When I went out to feed the horses and dogs, I saw orange plastic tape attached to my pasture fencepost. The foot-long streamers were blowing inside the fence. AEP had put them there as a reference point for their surveying.

Some folks say that horses can’t see color, but my two mares know the color of carrots. Years ago, I had to yank away a deflated orange balloon that Cupcake saw on the ground. I got it when her lips were within inches of it.

If a horse ingests something it can’t digest or something that blocks the intestine, colic results. Colic is a bad way for a horse to die. I’ve seen colicky horses. They throw themselves on the ground and roll; they sweat profusely. The blocked intestine is excruciatingly painful for them. When Cupcake was young, I watched the vet thread a tube through her nose and into her stomach to pump in mineral oil to displace a blockage. It wasn’t pleasant for me to watch, but fortunately it worked. Cupcake hated that vet ever after.

The mineral oil treatment doesn’t always work. My husband and I once transported a friend’s colicky horse to the Virginia Tech vet hospital in the wee hours of the morning. The horse lost a few inches of intestines; the owner had to pay several thousand dollars for the surgery. I’ve heard of people who had to put colicky horses down because they couldn’t afford the vet bills. Colic is expensive.

I try to keep the pasture free of harmful things that Cupcake and Melody might eat. I do a pretty good job. I know that horses can't digest plastic. Luckily I found the plastic ribbon before my mares did. I ripped the blowing ends off and slid the rest down the pole until it was behind the woven wire.

Now, if AEP is so stupid that it hires people who are so stupid they don’t know their actions can harm livestock, can we really believe AEP spokespeople when they say that the big electric lines are perfectly safe?

I suppose it's ironic that the electricity that powers the eMac that I'm using to complain about AEP is provided by AEP.


Blogger CountryDew said...

Corporations rule the world. AEP is but one of them. I'm glad you found the ties before the horses.

11:56 AM  

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