Forbidden fruit


Growing stuff / Thursday, July 14th, 2016

I think of this story around this time of year, when our bushes hang heavy with berries.


Once upon a time

when I was a little girl,

we went to stay in the home of some friends in Virginia. When we arrived, our hosts showed us around and made us comfortable, in true Valley style. Then they warned us about the berries on the edge of the woods.

They look delicious, like blueberries, they said, but please don’t taste them. We think they are poisonous.

Very well, my parents agreed. Children, do you hear? Leave the berries by the woods alone.

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I was only five years old. What do you think happened when I found myself alone?

The next thing I remember was that I stood in the open doorway of the house, looking up a flight of unfamiliar stairs at my mother. My very displeased mother.

Shari, she said. Did you eat those berries?

I hunched my shoulders and pressed my hands against the door frame. No, mom.

Shari. Look at me. I know you ate those berries; don’t lie to me.

No, mom.

Well, I got my rear end spanked for it and afterwards, I sat on the kitchen counter sniffling and eating cookie dough while our kind hostess cheered me up. It’s the only deliberate lie I remember telling in childhood.

When I was an adult, I asked my mother How were you so sure?

She said, BECAUSE YOU HAD BLUE ALL AROUND YOUR MOUTH.

So. No use blaming the world’s sins on Eve; I am an original sinner. Ate the forbidden fruit and lied about it. Didn’t even see the snake.

I wonder what died inside me?

10 Replies to “Forbidden fruit”

  1. Or were you already ‘dead’ by the simple fact of being born after her? Though I agree that the blame game won’t get us anywhere. Really no big deal just the thought that popped into my head!

  2. And really, any news about if those berries were actually poisonous? If all it took was some wacks and cookie dough to detoxify, it sounds like an adult version of a lie too also!

    1. Not a lie. They were suspicious of the berries but had never tested and confirmed either way. As it turned out, they were harmless. Or else it took a lot more than I ate to cause harm. Or else Jesus was kind to me. Some things we never know for sure.

  3. Did ANYTHING die inside you? I mean, we are born with a sinful heart. is there a difference how the sin comes out? By a lie, or by being mean to my sister or brother, or by fighting?? (In saying that, I’m assuming that you’re talking about the fact that you lied.) Now, if your lie wouldn’t have been dealt with… (?). I have to appreciate the fact that it was. Lesson learned.:)But, what conclusion did you come to? Mine might be way off.😉 Curious what you’re thinking.

  4. The times I called Poison Control, they were always pretty nonchalant about berries. “Oh yeah,” they said, “It won’t hurt them unless they eat a LOT.” So much for my childhood paranoia’s. . .

  5. Though my final question felt like the point of the story, it was actually an impromptu tack-on. I don’t know that I was thinking anything at all, other than – Is it possible to eat forbidden fruit without experiencing a death?

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