So as I went to water my garden yesterday, I noticed little blackish things dotting the ground around where we turn the water on, and after a brief moment of confusion, I realized that they were ripe mulberries that were dropping from a nearby tree. Seeing as this is a tree in a vacant lot, it doesn't really belong to anyone that lived nearby, or it could be that other people have no interest in eating mulberries. In any case, there were a lot of ripe berries within easy reach, so I spent a few minutes helping myself to a tasty finger-staining treat. The taste really transported me back in time.
Growing up I had a best friend named Von Richardson. He was one of the younger kids in the Richardson family and I remember many fun times spent at their house. They had pet snakes, and raised mice in the barn to feed them. They had goats that we used to sit and watch the older boys milk. They were so skilled that they could aim a teat and fire a deadly-accurate stream of milk right at the mouth of a waiting cat. I was pretty amazed. I even got to try my hand at milking, even though I was probably only 5 or 6 at the time. I remember that it was a lot harder than it looked. They had a greenhouseish type of room built off one side of their house, and we used to sneak little sprigs of parsley and snack on them when his mom wasn't looking.
Amidst all of the other wonders at their house was a big mulberry tree that was super easy to climb and produced tasty little berries. Von and I spent many happy hours up in that tree munching our little hearts out! Well, as we got a little bit older (6 or 7) his mom started being concerned with us spending the night at each other's houses (being of the opposite sex and all) so I didn't get to spend quite as much time over there. I got to see Von at school and church, so I didn't really miss him all that much, but I sure missed those mulberries.
I finally badgered Von enough about it that he brought me a bread sack with some mulberries in it for me one day. We lived pretty rural so the bus ride took and hour and my siblings and I were the second ones on the bus in the morning, but we picked up Von and his siblings about halfway through the ride. So he handed me this sack on the bus one morning, and I was super excited. I munched contentedly for most of the rest of the bus ride. That is, until Von smirkingly informed me that he had put a little goat nugget (goats poop little spheres like rabbits) in with my berries and asked if I had found it yet. I was totally grossed out and didn't eat any more of the mulberries. I was probably pretty mad at him, but I probably deserved what I got. What with the nagging and all. Lesson learned.