Oisin Pivy otherwise known as poison ivy is nasty stuff—nasty enough that you have to find some humor in it somehow or lose your cool completely trying not to scratch. So, slathered in calendula and pretending that my arm isn’t on fire, doesn’t itch a bit, and won’t wake me up at least three times tonight, I carry on.
Where did I get poison ivy, you ask? Have you checked your gardens lately? It’s everywhere. Either there’s an underground tyranny going on, spreading massive root systems, or it’s a conspiracy in The Village of Hare Hollow Woods. Ha! Let’s see how many white berries (thus seeds) we can plant among Mama Hare’s choice perennials.
Yup, that’s a little paranoid, I know, but let me tell you, whatever the means, the results are the same—it’s everywhere!
Ben and Bic brought home a basketful of lovely white berries once, from the ivy plant. Mama Fivelina recognized them immediately and hastily dumped them back into the woods, that is, after a thorough life-lesson for the mouselings. “These are not for eating…” she showed each of them the attractive but toxic white-yellow berries. “You must never pick and eat these… in fact, Bic and Ben, you need to wash your hands very thoroughly now. You may have the oils on you. It can make you very sick if you get it in your mouth.”
Now mouselings don’t get poison ivy skin reactions the way people do because they have fur, not bare skin. But ingesting the berries can be deadly. They are toxic to everyone except the birds whose digestive processes are quite different than ours.
“We thought we were helping you, Mama…” Ben said with a hurt look on his face.
“Yes, dear. I know. And you are helping. You helped us all with an important lesson today. Do not pick poison ivy berries, and don’t ever eat them.”
Wonder if Fivelina has any remedies for the itch?