We gathered up our pails and walked out our back door, down the hill, past the barn, through the field skirting the edge of the marsh and reached our destination. Blue berries as far as my short eyes could see. I loved blueberries and I loved the bushes even more. They were magical, home of pixies and elves. Gnarled and bent they would form tunnels and huts, much like giant rabbit warrens. Berries would kaplink into my pail like in my favorite story book, “Blueberries for Sal.” I loved the sound of the berries pinging against the tin, the timbre changing with the size of the berry, a special kind of music. There were no bears here, but I would pretend there were. And they would ask me in to dine, but I was too smart for them and would fatten them up on their berries first. They’d not have me for dinner. I would have tea parties with the nymphs hiding in the bushes, you had to ask their permission to pick their berries you know. If you didn’t they would put a pox on you and each finger would swell until it was humongous, indigo, and round. Somehow my pail never got full, and I know it was the mischievous brownies pilfering my berries.
Mother asked me why my lips, teeth, and tongue were a peculiar shade of purple.