Tag Archives: mushrooms

1857. Magic mushrooms

Cameron was wandering through the forest for no particular reason when he came across a little collection of hallucinogenic mushrooms. He knew they were hallucinogenic because he’d seen photos of them in a woman’s magazine in the dentist’s waiting room. There was an article in the magazine about how not to touch these mushrooms, because although they were very pretty, they were also dangerous.

However, the article did narrate how some people used the mushrooms to undergo an out-of-body experience, and others had used them simply to provide a kaleidoscopic in-your-face state of mind. All in all however, the article had said “DON’T TOUCH”. It was that warning that came to Cameron when he first saw and recognized them in the forest.

When he got home Cameron searched for more information and discovered they were called psilocybin mushrooms, and the effects of psilocybin mushrooms come from psilocybin and psilocin. When psilocybin is gets in the body, it is broken down to produce psilocin, which is responsible for the psychedelic effects.

The online information was most educational and in the end Cameron knew with certitude that what he had found in the forest were psilocybin mushrooms. The only thing the information didn’t say, and Cameron couldn’t find the information anywhere, was whether or not he was meant to dry the mushrooms first and then smoke them, or ingest them the way they were, or dehydrate them before eating. In fact, was he meant to cook them like regular mushrooms?

These mushrooms have a short shelf-life, so if anyone out there knows?

1839. The truth about fairies

Jacquitta took her two children, Vinny and Patience for a walk. Patience was four and Vinny was seven.

“Let’s see if we can find where the fairies live,” said Jacquitta.

“I don’t believe in fairies,” said Vinny.

“Oh, but they’re real,” said Jacquitta wanting to protect little Patience from the reality of an imagination-derelict world. “They live in little mushroom villages. They are usually kind and lovely, but sometimes, if you are mean to them, they can get annoyed and then horrible things can happen.”

“It’s not true,” said Vinny. “My friend said that his mother told him that fairies were made up.”

“I’m sure they live around here,” said Jacquitta. “Oh look children! There’s a mushroom ring! It’s a fairies’ village!”

“It’s not a fairies’ village,” said Vinny. “It’s a pile of poisonous mushrooms.”

Vinny kicked the mushrooms with his foot. He smashed them to smithereens. “See,” he said, “no fairies.”

Little Patience burst into tears. “You’ve hurt the fairies and broken their houses,” she said.

“You are a naughty, naughty boy,” said Jacquitta.

The next morning Vinny woke up with a club foot.

295. Gathering mushrooms

295mushrooms

Yesterday I went mushrooming. The warm wet autumn rain has provided an abundance. All varieties of mushrooms abound; even the poisonous ones. I’m now a sprightly seventy, but my grandfather taught me when I was a kid how to tell one mushroom from another.

“Don’t touch these,” he would say, “they’ll kill you if you eat them. These ones here look almost the same but they’re not white on the underside; they’re pink. You can eat them.” And so on. Thanks to my grandfather, I reckon I’m a world expert when it comes to eating fungus. There’s nothing about mushrooms I don’t know; the ones to eat, the ones that numb your pain, the ones that make you high, the ones that kill you in your sleep…

I met my wife while gathering mushrooms. Her family had come to stay on a neighbouring farm. They came to visit us. “Why don’t you two go out and collect mushrooms?” said my mother. And we did.

I showed, as had my grandfather, how to tell the poisonous from the edible. We collected lots. A bucketful! I can still picture her gliding in her white dress over the green green grass, with the blue bucket full of mushroom! We were only seventeen. We’d been married fifty years last month.

Collecting mushrooms was an annual ritual in our married life. Every year in the autumn we’d go out with a bucket and gather mushrooms. And the bucket had to be blue! Always blue!

My wife has been bed-ridden now for several years. She’s often in great pain. I would end it all for her as she often wishes, but “Don’t you dare!” she would say. “You’ll spend the rest of your life in prison!”

So yesterday I went mushrooming on my own. We had mushrooms for dinner! It was almost like old times. We laughed as we remembered two seventeen year olds gambolling through a green field, one in a white dress, gathering mushrooms in a blue bucket. “Thank you for the lovely times,” she said. “Thank you.”

These were her last words. Last night, of course, she died in her sleep.