• Rena Shapiro

Blackberry Hunting

I was walking with Jasmeen in the grassy fields beyond the lake. We had brought a plastic container to collect wild blackberries in. We reached to pick some off the wall of brambles lining the path.

At some point, she said, “I think that's enough,” but it was too late - I had spotted a shining cluster of the black pearls we had been mining.

I replied indifferently, “Yeah, you're probably right,” glancing at the almost-full container, “but it's still fun to pick them.” I then stopped in my tracks, hypocritically holding two dozen berries, realizing what I had just said.

“Huh,” I wondered aloud. “Who would’ve thought blackberry picking would teach me the mentality of hunting for sport?”

She may have laughed, but I was dead serious. We continued down the hill, passing more and more outreaching branches of obsidian fruit, like billboard advertisements. Can’t hurt, I greedily thought.

At the bottom of the hill, I reached. Jasmeen witnessed my corruption. She shot me a piercing glare and bellowed, “Don’t overpick!”

I stood stunned for a moment. “You’re right.” We kept walking. I thought, hopefully a bird will enjoy that luscious fruit. The blackberries had significance beyond my quaint comprehension. They were vital to everything, not just my future lemonade, and certainly not my selfish hunt.

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