Forbidden fruit

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.


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?


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?

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Lucinda J
7 years ago

A vivid memory, great writing!

Hadassah Rose
7 years ago

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!

7 years ago

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!

7 years ago

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.

Regina Martin
7 years ago

Hmm…I wonder if it was your childhood innocence that died. You suddenly knew guilt….

7 years ago

You were such a easily trained child (at least in that area) if that was the one and only lie you told! 😉

7 years ago

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. . .

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