Monday, June 23, 2008

Mulberry Fruit


For the record, mulberries are edible.

Having arrived early for my writing class and not wanting to wait in the hot car, I decided to explore a nearby park on the Hudson River. Three young boys with ball gloves hanging from their handlebars pedaled past me as I walked along the shaded road. Drawn by the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle, I ambled over to a copse of trees. I stood in the dappled shade taking in deep lungsful of the sweet smell trying to make an olfactory memory for the long winter months ahead. Looking up I saw that the trees supporting the vines were mulberry and that the fruit was ripening. Reaching up I pulled off a few berries, rolling their sweet-tart flavor around on my tongue. I fell back in time to my youth when we ate the warm berries from the trees and used their rich purple juice as “lipstick”.

The boys came back up the street obviously disappointed from whatever mission they had been on. One of them saw me plucking fruit from the tree and shouted “Hey lady, you can’t eat those, they are poisonous.” I looked over at them. “No they’re not,” I shouted, “these are mulberries.” Curious, they rode over to look at the tree. “How do you know?” I plucked ripe berries from the tree, putting the purple fruit in their sweaty hands. They watched carefully as I ate some more then nibbled on the berries. Surprised, they looked at me like was I wise woman, sprung from the ground. ”They’re good!” One boy play-punched another, “You said they were poisonous.” I took the opportunity to talk with them about eating things in the wild and being careful to know exactly what it was before putting it on their mouths. We talked about mulberries, examined the leaves and the fruit. They pedaled off, their hands and mouths stained purple. Smiling, I walked back toward class with purple “lipstick.”

8 comments:

Bob said...

I really enjoyed this post. I ate them as a kid too. Funny, we used to eat all kinds of wild things that kids today would not touch.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, there was a mulberry tree by the bus stop. The purple berries stained the ground and got all over our shoes, among other things. I never knew they were edible...oh, the wasted time! Thanks for the memory.

Kim

Marvin said...

This post brings back memories of the mulberry that grew along my route to and from elementary school. I was well aware mulberries were tasty. No, I wasn't supposed to eat the fruit from a tree growing in someone else's yard, but I did, and almost never managed to successfully hide the evidence of my crime.

Sparverius said...

I'm considering planting a mulberry tree in my yard. The decision I need to make is fruiting or non-fruiting. Beautiful trees with no mess, or beautiful tree with yummy fruit and big mess...

Dave said...

I have a young mulberry right outside my window - a volunteer, and possibly the only one on the mountain. I can sit here and watch squirrels, chipmunks and birds eating the berries before they even ripen. I have yet to taste one!

oldpoetsoul said...

We have two mulberry trees, and I was looking for recipes when I found your blog. . .thanks for the inspiration! I'm picking some tomorrow morning to make jam.

Anonymous said...

This is my first visit here, but I will be back soon, because I really like the way you are writing, it is so simple and honest

Anonymous said...

Actually, kids would eat them but they believe they are posionious. I know because i am a kid :) but arent we all kids at heart