Sunday, February 22, 2009

Afternoon Treats

Once upon a time when I was about 8 years old and my two cousins were 6 and 7 we went down in the field exploring while the grown ups sat under the big shade tree talking on a Sunday summer afternoon. There were always a bird's nest to check out, a creek full of minnows, and crawdad holes to drop drop rocks into.

We had just gotten on the long stretch of the cow path going to the spring near Hadaway creek when we started noticing seeds in the path on the white sand. My cousins started picking them up and putting them in their pockets by the handfuls. I put mine in my rolled up shirt tail. We finally had all we could carry. We had found a huge stash of them near the cedars on the fence row. We stopped at the spring and my cousin decided the mystery seeds looked just like the pumpkin seeds Mamaw always roasted on the wood stove in the fall for us to eat. He ate some and then I talked my other cousin into eating some. I wanted to be sure they liked them before I tried any. The seeds were even tastier than the pumpkin seeds. They were dry and crispy but ever so tasty.

We sat there until the shadows were getting long just munching on our new treats. Every once in a while we would take our hands and dip up a drink of water from the cow trough at the spring to wash them down. Papaw had built a big trough under the spring and the water was always clear and cold as the ice water in the refrigerator. That evening it really taste extra good with the seeds.

We gathered more of the seeds on the way back up the hill. There were just little nests of them out in the grass. We had our pockets budging and shirt tails full once again. We were proud our stash of food. We got back up to the house and some neighbors were there visiting so we just stood around listening to the grown ups conversation and munching on our seeds. Papaw noticed we were eating something. I guess he was thinking we had no manners and were not sharing. He asked to see what I had. We showed him and all the company under the tree and told them how delicious they were. Papaw took a handful and looked at them really close and asked how many we had ate. We told him a lot! They were so good. He started laughing really hard and slapping his hand on his leg. He looked over at the neighbors and said that maybe they wouldn't kill us. Then he turned to us and said, "Kids, ya'll been eating persimmon seeds that the 'possums and 'coons have already ate!" We thought that over a minute and started coughing, gagging and trying to throw them up. There was no need in trying. It was too late.

A lesson was learned that day. Looks can be deceiving. Just because they looked like pumpkin seeds didn't mean they were pumpkin seeds!


  1. Oh my gosh, that brought back memories of some ... ah ... "experimental" eating from my childhood. It made me laugh! Thanks for a really funny post.

  2. Greta,
    I would love to hear the story. How did we survive childhood?

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  4. Rita, I loved your story! You and your cousins must have been horrified after learning the true nature of those "treats." Also, thanks for stopping by my Itawamba Connections blog. I'm glad you found me because now I've found your stories!