“It’s a dry hole.”
Consequently, Oil Baron will never be our title. Revealing resolution came after diggers made another big mess in one of the lush Flint Hills pastures. Periodically, over the years, land leasers have paid us a buck an acre with the option of drilling for oil. Ground shakers have driven the land to check potential and usually left without a word.
However, on three occasions in four decades, drillers have set up rigs and worked around the clock for weeks, and we couldn’t help but have a twinge of anticipation.
It was more pronounced the first couple of times, especially since pumpers had been put in place just across the road from where one of the holes was to be dug.
Our anticipation was exceeded only by that of Dad, who made numerous trips to the pasture inquiring about success to the crew. Answer was always the same, even the day they left: “We don’t know.” To us, that meant: “We ain’t telling.” But, the realistic
conclusion was: “There’s no oil here.”
Aftermath of those punctures remain as the pastures never healed completely. Evidence of the damage to nature plainly exists as we daily ride the pastures. Worst part of it though is the wells not yards away on neighbor land are still in place. We contend that they are set at such an angle the draw is actually from our property.
This time, almost without warning, the barbed wire fence was chopped, pasture road made, and what had been beautiful Bluestem prairie since the beginning of time was bull dozed into brown gumbo soil and flintstone heaps. We never tried to find out if there was anything promising or valuable.
Then, the whole kit-and-caboodle was gone without a word. Damage to God’s land remained as the once-prime range now looks like a foundation dug for a home. Contracts guarantee the land “will be restored to normal,” but that’s impossible. Never again will it be like before as the intrusion will always be apparent to man and livestock alike.
No formal notice of outcome from the extensive damage was given, but after many inquisitions, somebody in an office finally impatiently responded, “Another dry hole.” We unconsciously knew, but still had to have it made official.
No big deal, we didn’t have it before, got along fine and will continue the same. Besides, are those with oil wells any happier than we are? Some who’ve hit strikes, had big bucks, spent it all, the holes went dry and they’re poorer than before.
Thus, we think of Job 34:19: “He shows no partiality to the rich above the poor; they are both the work of His hands.” Likewise, there is consolation in Proverbs 13:8: “The
rich can be sued for everything they have, but the poorare free of such threats.” Most important is Corinthians 8:1: “They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor.”