Tag Archives: raspberries

2038. Edna’s unsuccessful foray into murder

Edna wasn’t exactly made of money, but she could get by well enough in her old age. She still had her independence and lived in the same house she and her late husband had bought many years ago.

The only problem was that the garden, although not huge, had become too large for Edna to manage on her own. She figured that if she made a few adjustments on her grocery bill (for example, who really needs fabric softener in the washing machine every time?) she could afford to have a man come around once every couple of weeks and tidy things up in the garden.

Edna had been a keen garden and was especially proud of her raspberries. She had cared and fostered them for at least forty years. The harvest of raspberries each year was a phenomenon to be admired.

And then the very worst happened. The man pulled out her raspberries and threw them away. He was “tidying up”.

In her youth Edna had read a story by Guy de Maupassant (about a fisherman dozing on a riverbank being hit over the head with a spade and his brains seeping into the creek). She wasn’t a spring chicken (Edna) and had gone to school in the days when they were made to read proper books.

And then she saw her opportunity. The man she hired was kneeling down weeding the garden where the raspberries had been. There was a spade stuck in the soil next to him. Edna went out and spontaneously grabbed the spade.  She raised the gardening implement high.

An old lady (or man) doesn’t have much strength but the weight of a heavy spade should do the trick and slice off the top of his head.

Edna missed. She hit him fairly lightly on his arm. It caused more of a bruise than a scratch.

The man packed up his gear and said he wasn’t coming back. That was that. Enough was enough.

To some people murder comes natural; others need a lot of practice. One can’t blame Edna for missing; it was her first attempt. Maybe she’ll have better luck next time.

1798. Wild berry expert

Marcia was an expert at wild berries. Not just blackberries, and strawberries and raspberries, but berries with a difference; elderberries and huckleberries and chokeberries and saskatoon berries and muscadine berries. The list was endless. There were all sorts of wild berries that people ignored that were edible. Not all were harmless of course. Some were rather deadly, such as holly berries and pokeweed and ivy and yew tree berries.

Gathering wild blackberries was how Marcia met her husband, Michael. A group of youths had gone out blackberrying one summer, and Marcia and Michael got lost. They eventually found their way back, but it was the beginning of a romance. Two years later they married.

Michael loved the way that Marcia knew all the wild things to eat (and not to eat) and the recipes to use.

“If a famine strikes the land,” he used to say, “we’ll be the only couple to survive.”

But as the marriage wore on Michael became domineering and abusive. Marcia was at the end of her tether.

“Why don’t you make one of those wild berry pies you used to make?” said Michael. “Instead of moping around doing sweet nothing, you lazy cow.”

That gave Marcia an idea.

887. Raspberries

893raspberries

Hi! Is that you, Kay? I thought I’d got the answer phone. It’s Nigel here.

Look, just because we run a raspberry farm doesn’t mean to say we give handouts. We might be neighbours but it’s our livelihood. There’s no sense in phoning up for free raspberries, because you’re not going to get any.

No, I was actually phoning up to ask…

It’s the same for everybody. They all want a free basket of raspberries because they think we’ve got so many plants. But we have to pick them and take them to market like every other raspberry berry farmer in the country. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

I was just phoning to ask if you wanted any tomatoes. We’ve got that many tomatoes this year that we don’t know what to do with them.

Of course we want some tomatoes. But if you think you’re going to get some raspberries in exchange for tomatoes you’ll have to think again. We’re not running a charitable organization. The raspberry season is not that long, and we have to make ends meet for the rest of the year. Plus there are sprays. And we have to pay the seasonal raspberry pickers. So no, we can’t spare any raspberries I’m afraid.

Ok. I’ll drop some tomatoes off later today.

That’ll be good. But don’t come around expecting raspberries.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!