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WHO NEEDS BERRIES?  ( A SHORT STORY )

ONE DAY WHILE VISITING MY COUSIN IN UPPER MICHIGAN WE DECIDED
TO GO BERRY PICKING, WE TOOK SMALL PAILS FOR THE BERRIES AND
WALKED DOWN A BACK ROAD TO A CLEARING WHERE THE BERRIES GREW
ABOUT A MILE FROM THEIR HOUSE.

THERE WAS A TREE WITH A RING OF BERRY BUSHES AROUND IT ABOUT
FOUR FEET HIGH LOADED WITH BERRIES. MY COUSIN WAS ON ONE SIDE
AND I ON THE OTHER, SOON AFTER WE BEGAN PICKING I HEARD A BIG
THUD AND THE TREE WAS SHAKING BUT I DIDN'T SEE A THING.

MY COUSIN SAID "COME ON LET'S PICK OVER THERE",  I SAID "WHY
THERE'S LOTS RIGHT HERE" BUT SHE INSISTED WE SHOULD LEAVE SO
I WENT, INSTEAD OF TAKING THE ROAD WE HAD COME BY SHE LED ME
THROUGH A PATH IN THE WOODS THAT CAME OUT ON AN OPEN AREA WITH
A LOT OF PILES ALL OVER THE PLACE.

I SAID "WHAT'S THAT" SHE SAID IT WAS AN INDIAN BURIEAL GROUND"
I ASKED "HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?" SHE SAID THAT HER BROTHERS USED
TO GO THERE AND GET ARROW HEADS AND RELICS. SHE KEPT ON WALKING
AND TELLING ME TO HURRY. I DID AND WE CAME TO A GULLY OF YELLOW
SAND WE WERE WALKING THROUGH IT WHEN I SAW HOLES IN THE SAND
AND WONDERED WHAT THEY WERE.

I PICKED UP A STICK AND POKED IT IN A HOLE SHE SAW ME AND SAID
"DON'T DO THAT", SHE SAID IT WAS A SNAKE PIT AND THEY WERE IN
THE HOLES TO KEEP OUT OF THE HOT SUN. THAT WAS ALL I NEEDED TO
HEAR, I STILL DON‘T KNOW HOW I GOT OUT OF THERE SO FAST.

THEN SHE TOLD ME THAT A YOUNG BEAR HAD BEEN UP THE TREE WHERE
WE HAD BEEN PICKING BERRIES AND THAT'S WHY WE LEFT IN CASE THE
MOTHER BEAR WAS NEAR THE CUB. WELL I'LL TELL YOU I WAS SO GLAD
TO GET BACK TO THE HOUSE AND I NEVER WENT BACK TO THOSE WOODS
AGAIN THAT SUMMER.

Copyright © Shirley Sasek
2009  




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WHO NEEDS BERRIES? ( A SHORT STORY )