Fence Sitter

She sat on the fence each and every day that summer. It seemed odd to those who zoomed by in a rush each morning. She seemed to become a fixture on that fence each and every morning, and the late afternoon.

One esteemed lady had finally had enough of observing this young girl sitting on the fence. It was a Wednesday evening. The lady, Mrs. Clout, who managed one of the upper end department stores nearby pulled to the side of the road. She indignantly exited her car and walked toward this girl with a scowl already upon her face.

The girl paid no attention to this finely dressed woman. And oh yes, the girl knew exactly who Mrs. Clout was. The entire town knew of her. If it hadn’t been for Mrs. Clout half the town would be out of work…in a financial depression. But Mrs. Clout swooped into town two year prior and saved it! And, with this knowledge the nobody girl appeared to be ignorantly daydreaming.

“Pardon me young lady,” Mrs. Clout’s refined, haughty tone would ordinarily send chills down anyone’s spine.

The girl continued to daydream.

“Excuse me!” Mrs. Clout was irate now.

The girl’s gaze drifted to Mrs. Clout.


“Oh, hello, Mrs. Clout! How do you do?”

Mrs. Clout could hardly contain herself now. Why was she even bothering spending her time trying to speak to this young nobody?

“Have you even counted the cars, Mrs. Clout? Or watched the day from sunrise to sunset?” The young girl’s gaze was now watching the cars that drove by the fence.

Mrs. Clout’s jaw dropped. She was utterly confused about the girl’s topic. Here Mrs. Ilene Clout stood before her, and she wanted to talk about the cars and the sun?!

“Listen young lady…”


Ilene was shocked that this girl would continuously interrupt her. She hardly had time to spend with this girl. She figured her simple question would only take seconds to be satisfied. Instead, she found this girl led her down her own web of musings.

“Excuse me?” Mrs. Clout snapped.

“My name is Fate. I know your name is Mrs. Clout; it’s only fair you know my name is Fate Higgins.” Fate smiled, “What was it you were saying, Mrs. Clout?”

Ilene had slowly become confused with this precarious conversation with Fate. She thought momentarily and remembered her point to stopping to speak with Fate in the first place. “So, Fate, I am a very busy lady with little time to stop and have a conversation with a perfect stranger as yourself, but I….”

“I’m no stranger, Mrs. Clout! I’ve lived here in Hucksaw for the entire 17-years of my life!” Fate protested.

Exasperated, Ilene began to feel defeated. But, defeat was no part of her persona. She continued, “I was unaware of the details of your life, Fate. Listen, all that I wanted to do was ask you why you have been sitting on this fence each and every day that I pass by?! There, I got my question out.”

Fate grinned. “Is that all, Mrs. Clout? You stopped your busy evening to ask me, a simple girl, why I sit on this fence?”

“Yes. Although, in retrospect, I must say that I regret spending the past ten minutes with you. You’re exhausting with your shifty conversation.”

Still grinning, Fate replied, “Well, I appreciate your company, Mrs. Clout. People usually don’t spend two minutes conversing with me, let alone ten!”


“Oh, that’s right. Sorry. I have nothing better to do. I enjoy watching all the people, cars, and the day go by, Mrs. Clout. You know, you can learn a lot about people and their likes and dislikes if you simply watch them.”

“But don’t you have friends you’d rather spend time with? It’s the summer. Your free time.”

“Mrs. Clout, look at me and learn about me. I’m a weirdo, Mrs. Clout. Haven’t you been listening to me? Hear my slurred speech? Look at my eyes and arms, Mrs. Clout. I can’t wear any of the “normal” clothes that you sell at your fancy department store…people are usually afraid to talk to me because they take one look at my eyes, and realize I’m ‘different’ and then, they look at the rest of me and confirm their thoughts.”
Ilene looked closely at Fate and noticed for the first time that she was indeed ‘different.’ “Oh Fate, I’m so sorry!”


“I had not noticed.”

“Mrs. Clout, you are a smart, successful lady. I thought part of how you became successful was through observation. And, my life is really great. I don’t need to be in a hurry to enjoy life. I’m perfectly happy with it just the way it is right now.”

Ilene grinned, “I guess I have been too busy observing the wrong things in life.”

Fate chuckled, “Maybe so.”

“Will you be here tomorrow, Fate?”

Fate nodded, “Moments before the sun rises, Mrs. Clout.”

“Do you think I can join you tomorrow?”

Fate grinned, “Sure you can, Mrs. Clout!”

“Okay then, it’s a date! See you tomorrow, Fate! And please, call me Ilene.” With that, she waved at Fate, got into her car, and departed until the next morning.


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