Flash Fiction #93

Barbed Wire

PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

IMPRISONED INFINITY

Barbed wire tamed the Wild West. It had been Terra Incognita – the land beyond the law.  Its business was Beef.  Myriad cattle grazed millions of open acres, giving birth a century later to McDonalds and Burger King.

Then came the farmers – Sodbusters.  The cost of enough lumber, on the treeless plain, to keep cattle from crops, was exorbitant.  But then came the wire salesman, offering a cheap solution that was horse-high, bull-strong, and pig-tight.

Even men with no property deeds objected to being fenced out of once-open land. Wire wars were fought, but eventually, civilization moved west, and peace prevailed.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

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29 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #93

  1. wmqcolby says:

    Captured well! I also thought of the telegraph. The e-mail of its day. Changed everything around that time. Nice work!

    Like

  2. Dale says:

    All in the name of “progress”, eh?
    Well done, sir!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Some progress we agree with. Some we don’t, but we don’t get to choose. When we moved here 15 years ago, we were two blocks from the city limits and could smell manure being spread on the fields in the spring. Now the city extends over a mile further, and all we can smell are the big-rigs refilling the Wal-Mart out there. 😯

      Liked by 1 person

  3. liz young says:

    Nice piece of history.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Barbed wire was one of those life-changing things that transformed society and land in the center of America, but so few people realize it. It was the only inspiration I got, so I ran with it – slowly, carefully, so that I didn’t tangle in it. Thanx for the visit. 🙂

      Like

  4. Mike says:

    In England we had enclosure, we have dry stone walls in NorthYorkshire, they did the same thing as barbed wire.

    Eventually peace prevailed, and commerce won out. You made me think, well penned

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    • Archon's Den says:

      I’ve read about some of the British ‘enclosure problems.’ Middle America’s were on a scale difficult to imagine. Beef ranches were as big as some English counties. England could fit inside one State.
      I’m glad I made you think – and I’m glad you thought to visit my site. 🙂

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  5. It is an interesting history. I like the term pig-tight. I guess the pigs could get loose too. Now we are going back to grass fed beef, which is much better IMO. 🙂

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    • Archon's Den says:

      It’s part of an actual sales pitch from an old-time wire salesman.
      Yes, pigs are intelligent, and wily. It can be a chore keeping them where they belong.
      What I’d give to be Japanese Kobe beef – great food, classical music, warm massages – right till someone whispers, “Tomorrow….Wendy’s.” 😯

      Liked by 1 person

      • shimoniac says:

        At around $300 per pound Kobe Beef would never wind up at Wendy’s. More like Denny’s

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      • Archon's Den says:

        Even more likely, ‘The Charcoal Steakhouse.’
        Can’t remember beef on the menu at Denny’s. I’ve always eaten pork – bacon, sausage, ham. Oh look, they have prime rib and loaded burgers. Lookin’ forward to a trip to Detroit. 🙂

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      • Interesting that about the slogan. I knew pigs are intelligent but did not realize that they try to escape, but it makes sense. I did not know that about Kobe beef either. Gads. I was thinking about good old American grass fed beef that is raised without antibiotics on a nice farm. I don’t think they get massages. 🙂

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  6. Oh we were exactly on the same mind… yes the barbed wire “won” the west didn’t it.

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  7. Jim Wheeler says:

    BTW, the pronunciation over in Oklahoma, about ten miles east of me, is “bob wahr.” Rhymes with Bert Lahr. 😃

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I’ve been far enough south a couple of times to meet some Bob Wahrs. They can’t be much worse than Canada’s Centennial Baby, the amply-endowed with everything but intelligence and ability, Pamela Anderson, in one of the worst detective movies ever – Barb Wire. 😯

      Like

  8. gahlearner says:

    The idea of using fences to claim one’s possessions seems oddly up-to-date. Fences and barbed wire wherever we look…

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    • Archon's Den says:

      ….and concrete and blacktop! I envy my brother the tiny village he lives in – until we have yet another doctors’ appointment. Every second day it seems. Have you ever seen George Carlin’s skit about ‘Stuff?’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • gahlearner says:

        No, I don’t even know who he is. Will look him up later. 🙂

        Like

      • Jim Wheeler says:

        You prompted me to revisit George Carlin, Archon. Many will be turned off by his profanity, which is unfortunate because he was a unique truth-teller. His rant on “stuff” was classic social commentary on materialism. The world is a less honest place now that he’s gone. I hope other readers will check him out.

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  9. Dear Archon,

    I loved Terra Incognita and pig-tight. Now we know how the west was won and made the way for MacGrabandGag. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

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