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Berry Picking

by John Donovan

When the blackberries ripened, we would go berry picking. We looked forward to this activity.  We would loop an old syrup bucket in our pants belts by its handle. The bucket would hang from our belt. This made it possible to pick with both hands. After the picking, sometimes we would take some of the blackberries and spread them over ice cream. Nothing tastes as delicious as fresh blackberries on ice cream. Pies made with fresh berries taste better than other pie fillings also. Fresh produce always tastes better than produce that is not fresh.

We were all told not to eat the berries when picking. There was a good reason for this. Older kids followed this advice. Sometimes, a younger child would not. It was. I would take just one berry. Then it was, I will eat another one. Then it was, I will put two berries in the bucket and eat one. Then it was, as put one in the bucket, and  I will eat one out of the bucket then, as I put one in the bucket and eat two out of it. So fewer berries would be in the bucket after an hour of picking than half an hour before. 

We had much fun going out in the woods and picking blackberries. Fun also followed after picking the berries by telling stories while eating ice cream. Adults also got into the storytelling and laughter. One adult story was when several kids did not follow the no eat the berries while picking them rule. They did not have too many berries left at the end of the berry picking. They put leaves in the bottom of their buckets to hide their mistake and covered them with berries. It didn’t work. I can’t remember whether these kids were my older siblings or aunts and uncles. The no-eat rule is a good rule to follow in life.  If you do not want to have an addiction, do not do acts that lead to the addiction.

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