Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The importance of blueberries
We have often talked about that fox. Ask what he would do if he catches Little Cottontail, and ViMae says, "Chomp." We talk about children learning to watch for cars, to be careful when climbing, to listen when grownups warn them that something is dangerous.
We also talk about balance in nature. If the fox gets Little Cottontail, that's good for the fox, bad for the rabbit. If the rabbit eats the farmer's lettuce and carrots, good for the rabbit and bad for the farmer. ViMae once picked up a forkful of omelet and declared, "Good for me, bad for the egg."
Yesterday when we read that Little Cottontail's mother taught him to raid the farmer's vegetables and fruits, I made a comment, something like, "The farmer won't like it if the rabbits eat all his lettuce. We won't like it either, because we get our vegetables and fruit from the farmer."
Augie suddenly buried his head against me and wailed something about rabbits eating his blueberries. I thought he was joking, but then I realized he was crying real tears. I finally got it out of him: "I don't want the bunnies to eat all my blueberries." And then he was sobbing again.
I explained that the bunnies would never eat all the blueberries. I said bunnies don't even like blueberries. I said farmers have fences and other things to protect their crops. This boy who cheers for the bunny hero in a dozen different stories would pause for a moment and then cry again. "What if the bunnies eat all my blueberries!"
In the summer when they are plentiful, we eat them by the handful with every meal. As they get more expensive we share a few with our oatmeal in the morning. But in the coldest months, when blueberries get to be $5 for a few ounces, I usually don't buy them.
Until now, that is. I may cut back on something else, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be buying blueberries on a regular basis.