He didn’t know how cows got onto neighbour’s land

From our April 2012 issue

By John Moyles – Regina, Sask.

Cattle grazing land was hard to find in the early 1930s, so the Municipality allowed farmers to graze their stock on the road allowances adjacent to their land.

The cattle had to be monitored at all times to prevent them wandering onto the neighbour’s designated road allowance. It was my job to prevent this by riding my horse, bareback, up and down the road.

We had a neighbour who jealously protected his road allowance grazing rights.

One day I decided to ride down the road looking for the copper KKK signs the Klu Klux Klan placed on utility poles. We considered them collector’s items. I lost track of time, and when I got back to the cattle they had strayed onto the neighbour’s grazing area.

To my amazement, the majority of the cattle were in the neighbour’s freshly summerfallowed field, standing inside the barbed wire fence. I checked the fence, but couldn’t find how they got into the field.

I panicked, galloped home and told dad, who followed me back in the car. He walked along the fence line, shaking the posts, until he found 2 that had been recently loosened in their holes.

He raised the posts, which raised the wire, allowing me to drive the cattle back onto the road allowance. I then realized how our neighbour got them off his grazing area.

That evening dad said a number of farmers had the same experience, so he knew what to look for. Then he said, “You realize this is your fault for not paying attention to your job.”

Lesson learned.