DOODLEBUGS AND CHINABERRY TREES

 

Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

 


 
You remember when we talked about doodlebugs 2 or 3 months ago?
This article was in the newspaper the next day.  I don't know if I
sent it to you or not but I meant to then.   
 
How I used to LOVE playing with the doodlebugs and the berries
from the chinaberry tree.  I LOVED to step on the berries when
they were no longer green and they would POP!!
                                                                      Linda

 


Linda...

This message brings back memories.  My family was always doing some kind folk lore kind of project.
One was to make a blow gun out of fishing cane, the center of the cane was burned out with a steel rod, along with homemade darts.  
On one occasion my Grandaddy, as a boy, was told to keep the neighbor's cow out of the corn stored in the barn.  Grandaddy climbed up
into the corn crib with his blow gun and waited for the cow to appear.  When the cow came to get her daily ration of corn, Grandaddy shot her in the behind with a dart.  She headed for home posthaste.  My Grandaddy got worried and chased her around to quarter of a mile to retrieve the dart before the cow got home and he got reported to his Dad by the good neighbor.  He didn't want any of that "peach tree limb" justice that was doled out back then. 

Another folk lore project was completed by my Dad, with my help of course.  There were some large chinaberry trees on my Aunt's home place and this gave Dad an idea.  He was going to make a china berry gun.  We wandered along nearby roads until we found the kind of bush or small tree that had the right properties.  I can't remember the name of the tree right now, but it had pith in the center of the trunk which could be pushed out, leaving a tube just the size of a chinaberry.  Then, he whittled out a plunger that would just fit the center of the tube.   It was time to try out the new weapon.  Dad found a few berries that were the right size, loaded the chinaberry gun" and inserted the plunger behind the berry.  It's kinda like loading a muzzle loading rifle.  My Aunt was standing out in the yard talking to family members, making an ideal target.  Now, "Auntie" was not a small woman, probably weighed around 200 pounds, and she wasn't a "youngster."   Dad aimed the "gun" at her posterior and jammed the plunger into the tube, sending a "hot berry" that smacked right into "Auntie's" behind.  She jumped off the ground, no small feat, and said a few things to my Dad that made us all "blush."     The "gun test" was definitely a success.   And, so the folk lore projects went....

Nolan Bailey