Jocie Reporting on Blackberries and Chiggers

Ann H Gabhart Heart of Hollyhill Leave a Comment

July 20, 1966boysenberries1

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. I’m a little itchy tonight. That’s not right. I’m a lot itchy tonight!

Have you ever gone blackberry picking and come home with more chiggers than berries? I think I did this weekend. I love blackberries. They have that special tart taste like no other berry and a blackberry cobbler is worth wading through weeds and briars after those berries. But, I’m not that sure about the chiggers. Dad says I must be extra sweet because nobody else got bit half as much. Actually, I looked up chiggers in the Encyclopedia at the library. It said those little too tiny to see creatures don’t actually bite you but they spit on you and that breaks down your skin so that they can dig down and chew up tiny parts of your inner skin. Doesn’t that sound awful? I mean really! I think I’d rather be bitten!

So you go blackberry picking and bring home these horrible looking creatures on you that make you itch like crazy. I saw a picture of them. Believe me, you don’t want to see them crawling all over chewing on you. Not only that, but while you’re picking those berries, you’re getting stuck by thorns and having to worry about stepping on snakes.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would anybody go blackberry picking? Because that’s the only way we’re going to get blackberries for jam and pies and cobblers. Like Dad says, if you don’t have to put a little effort into something, then you don’t really appreciate it.

But you have to wonder about why the Lord put those thorns on the blackberry vines? Or why He made chiggers? Or why I like blackberries enough to go pick them? I guess some things just can’t be explained. At least not so we can understand or that’s what Dad says. He says the Lord looked down at everything He made and said it was good. But I’m thinking chiggers and mosquitoes might have sneaked in under the radar. Dad laughed when I told him that and reminded me that birds eat mosquitoes. When I asked about chiggers that just seem to eat me, he said those chiggers might make me learn to listen to my elders. You see, Miss Sally told me to wrap rags soaked in coal oil around my ankles before I went out berry picking, but I didn’t do it. I guess it might have been worth stinking to high heaven to keep from itching like crazy. Sigh. I best get out the calamine lotion and paint myself pink.

Have you ever been dotted with chigger bites?

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