Monday, August 9, 2010

Grave Digging: Burying the Dog Fence

First let me say that I realize that most graves are dug by back hoes and not people with shovels. I know this and it’s beside the point. I’m thinking of people who are digging graves for nefarious purposes. Not cemetery employees.

But let me start at the beginning - I have three dogs who I keep from pestering my neighbors by enclosing several acres, close to eight I think, with an electric radio dog fence. The dog fence allows me to have good relationships with my neighbors. Without the fence I would be continually apologizing and paying for the damage my dogs would do. How do I know my dogs would do damage? Because they are dogs. And because they dig holes big enough to lose UPS trucks in at my house. Craters. They dig craters.

I also let one of my neighbor’s run his horses on our pasture. I know. It’s very kind of me. It’s also an easy way to keep the grass from taking over. The horses keep the pastures from looking like my garden. Really. Recently, another neighbor, we’ll call him Good Neighbor, offered a piece of land that adjoins ours to the Horse Neighbor. Horse Neighbor moved his physical fence which exposed my dog fence.

That is why, had you driven past my house early this morning, you would have seen me out in the field burying a new wire. Why do I have to bury the wire? Because now that the Good Neighbor has offered the adjoining field for Horse Neighbor to use there is no horse fence separating the two fields. The horse fence used to protect the dog fence from destruction. Think draft horse feet with lovely metal shoes. A ton of weight (yes, literally) with a sharp metal edge coming down on a tiny wire. The only way for me to keep the fence intact (and thus contain my dogs) is to bury it. Don’t you wish you could have the kind of fun I have?

This is what I discovered while digging the shallow trench to lay the wire in. Digging is not easy. It’s hard on your body, specifically the right elbow and the left leg. And face it I was just digging up the first six inches of dirt. What if I’d been trying to conceal a body? How hard would that have been?

This is what I was thinking about this as I was jumping up and down on my shovel, trying to get the blade to cut through long grass and the roots of some sort of bush. I was thinking that if I was going to ever write a mystery where someone tries to bury a body I’d better to it right. Either said villain had better have a really tough time digging this hole or they’d better borrow a back hoe. Either one would be telling. It’s hard to hide freshly dug dirt.

So what do you think? Given that digging is such hard work how would you go about hiding a body? Or would you be like my villians and just let it lie?