Friday Fictioneers – The Fence

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Now let’s see if I’ve got this straight. You’re saying this parcel of land is yours, and that I can’t hunt across it. Right? Everything within this little fence is yours alone? Does that also apply to the sky above? If a wind blows some of your air into my nose and I breathe in, do I owe you recompense?

Don’t you understand, the idea of owning the earth is as absurd as the idea of owning the air? Nobody can own the land or the beasts and plants on it. And that is why I tore down your fence.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

63 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Fence

  1. Haha! I was laughing at his tone throughout the story, and the ending fits his character!

    Of course he is right by law in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and sort of Scotland, and in places like Mongolia or parts of Africa it is totally normal.

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  2. Native Americans would understand the reasoning. They built no fences unless you go waaaay back into the foggy past to places like Cahokia. But I’m wondering if the character in your story would be okay with his neighbor moving into his yard and house on the same premise that no one owns anything.

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  3. Ah, that great questions of capitalism. But yes, in UK law at least, he who owns the land owns the sky above and ground below it too. Once the wind blows off my land, you can do what you like with it!

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  4. Thought provoking piece, Neil. Given that climate change is the result of a “tragedy of the commons” we badly need a different way of organising the way we do business. Part of that might involve doing away with land ownership, I suspect. Nice writing, too.

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  5. I remember the days when the Church claimed all the land as it belonged to God. This gave them the right to collect tithes. Of course so did Kings claim this right, in truth fences and borders are forms of control to contain wealth.

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  6. I imagine this could be a contentious issue if once the fence came down sheep ate the prized flowers for example. Great piece Neil. I lovely way to look at the world. If only we didn’t have such a ‘mine’ culture, right?

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  7. Yes, I have my little acre also. The neighbor put up the fence on one side. The building contractor put up another side. We are are the corner so the street sides are open. No bother except by a deer or skunk now and then. I guess a fence wouldn’t hinder them much anyway. 😀

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  8. I agree with your premise. All we do is occupy the space a few years and pay taxes on it. Try telling that to the people who move her from out of state. They set up barriers to protect their “litle kingdoms.” Fences should only be erected to contain livestock.

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