Picking Fights while Picking Berries

Happy Tuesday everyone.  I have a little taste for you this week.  A taste of the Original Sisters, lol.  The characters that I write about this week are two generations before the Sisters of Avalon that will be introduced in my soon to be released novel.  Enjoy the appetizer.

PICKING FIGHTS WHILE PICKING BERRIES

“Anita, dere’s a good spot of em over here la,” Dulcie called for her sister.

“Ol’ on to your horses maid I got a few here to pick first, no need in rushing it Dale, berry picking is all about taking your time, what have we got to rush for anyhow?”

Anita was always the voice of reason, she knew how to breath in and out without letting twenty things take her mind from whatever task was at hand.  It was the first good berry picking day of the season and Anita planned on enjoying every minute of her time in the raspberry bushes.  Like she said, what was the rush.  There would be plenty to do back home once the men got back with the fish but that all would have to wait until Anita’s two metal buckets were full of fresh raspberries.

Picking the precious red jewels carefully from the bushes was always key in Anita’s mind.  She wanted their juices to stay intact until she was ready to allow them to delicately ooze out while the heat from the stove stewed them to perfection.  She would make her tarts and pies first, the berries later in the week would be solely for next winters jam.  As her hands reached in and over berry after berry her hands itched from the pollen but she didn’t care.  Anita lived for berry picking season and could smell them in the air when the berries were finally ready for picking.  It was her gift, as it was handed down to her from her own mother who loved the land and it’s gifts of plenty just as Anita did.  Her sister Dulcie was always reluctantly dragged along to increase the size of her bounty but Dulcie couldn’t pick as fast or as well as her older sister.  “Two buckets to one,” Anita would say every time they went in the woods together and it sprung from her lips again today as they picked over the bushes near Bride’s Hill.

“Yes cause I can’t stop eating em, and I am not going to ider,” Dulcie was not afraid of her big sister even if Anita stood two feet above her.

“I knows you eats em sure, you would eat the funks if you could get at em,” Anita didn’t hold back any punches either.

“Now watch what you’re playing at missy I don’t have to pick dese berries if I don’t want to,” Dulcie’s lips were red from all the berries she pressed against her mouth, hand over fist.

“Den don’t pick em, sure I don’t care.  I can fill up all tree of da buckets faster than you,” Anita stood stock still as she was confidant in her berry picking abilities.

“Fine pick em den,”and with Anita’s threat still warm on her lips, Dulcie left in a contrary huff leaving her still empty bucket for her sister to fill.

“Fine go on home den, Tommy will never die while you are still living you spiteful cow.”

Dulcie didn’t even look back as she traipsed through the long alder bushes to make her way back to the path that would lead her back home.  As she muttered this and that under her breath she felt a sudden pang in her stomach.  The berries must be at work, she thought.  Listening to her gut was Dulcie’s gift but she sometimes misread the signs.  If she had not told herself it was the berries she would have realized that it was something entirely different.  Her gut was telling her to go back to her sister, to not be so foolish but she was too filled with the spite that had been passed down from her father to know the difference.  Her gut was hushed as the only thing Dulcie wanted to hear was the sound of her rubber boots sloshing in the mud as it meant she would be near the main road soon.  She hoped to catch a ride back to the Bight with the mailman.  She knew his horse and buggy would be passing by soon and he always liked to pick her up whenever she found herself along his route, which was at least once or twice a week if Dulcie could help it.

Dulcie walked while the knots in her stomach kept trying to tell her to go back to her sister.  She ignored the pain while hoping to hear the sound of horse hooves on gravel.  The sound never came but the pain continued to spread along her side forcing her to slow her pace until she couldn’t walk any further.  It was in that moment that she realized it was more than the berries.

“Oh dear Jez-us, not now,” Dulcie looked to the heaven and screamed out in agony as the torment inside her wrapped itself around her back forcing her to sit on the side of the road until she could make her way back to her feet.

Dulcie grabbed her stomach and wished she had not left Anita. Dulcie knew full well she would hear Anita’s scorn as soon as she found her still sitting on the side of the road.  But for the time being she would have to wait it out as she did not have the strength to continue on.  Dulcie thought she must have missed the mailman already and would rather be rescued by him then her older sister.  Thinking about him helped take her mind off the pain for a moment as she dreamed of being a fit enough women to find her way into his life.  She knew her mother would never let her marry him but she continued to dream about his strong arms lifting her up onto his carriage.  For a second she thought she could smell his scent but it was just her mind playing tricks on her as the pain got worse forcing her to surrender and pass out on the dirt that felt like it was sinking beneath her plump bottom.

“Wake up maid, what are you doing sleeping here on the side of the road,”Anita’s voice stirred Dulcie from her unpleasant rest.

“Oh I knows  I shouldn’t have left Neata but you knows me when the devil sets in.”

Dulcie was more than glad to see her sisters swollen and red stained hand reach out to pull her to her feet.

As Dulcie felt some relief from her pain another feeling of dread fell upon her soul as she saw the mailman’s horse and buggy waiting patiently just down the road, his back carriage lined with three metal buckets of raspberries.  Anita’s berries.  The mailman must have found Anita first before getting to her.   As she looked up there he was attentively looking on as Anita stood in wait of her sister.

“Matthew is going to give you a ride back with my berries.  Don’t dare touch one of them until I gets home or else.  And minds I’m telling ya,” Anita was ready to give up her seat on the buggy for her ailing sister as long as the berries got home safe.

Dulcie was grateful for Anita’s help in that moment and couldn’t wait to share the ride home with Matthew.  Her pain was still circling the inside of her stomach but Dulcie couldn’t feel it over the butterflies that had now stirred themselves insider her at the thought of sitting next to Matthew.  She would thank Anita for her help later.

As Matthew and Dulcie slowly started to leave Anita called out one last time to her sister, “And next time don’t be such a contrary ol witch and maybe you won’t be left to the demise of your monthly visiter.”

Just like that Dulcie’s grateful heart turned to spite as she vowed to get back at her sister once more.  Those buckets of berries might not make it home after all, Dulcie thought and with that the only word she could think to say out loud to her handsome driver was, “sisters.”

“Sisters,” he said back and it was the only conversation the two of them had the whole way back to Tickle Bight.

See you next Tuesday.

R.H. Downs

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Picking Fights while Picking Berries

  1. love the story Renee reminds me of your mother in law and myself when we were young lol

  2. Nadine

    Oh my goodness… do you ever have the accent down! I thought I was in Newfoundland… but it was written, so I could actually figure out what they were saying!! 🙂 Good job beautiful writer!

  3. Lora Lee Rowsell

    Now, if I could go berry picking, just a few feet of snow to get through! Love the story and the dialect, just love it!

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