Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tuesday's Tales

The Black Fuzzy Critter – Worm

The black fuzzy caterpillar photo taken 13 Dec 2016 outside the bedroom 
window on the bricks of  the house.

The black fuzzy worm is a critter that I shall never forget. There are memories of living with my parents and siblings on the farm in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana and picking cotton in the cotton fields. Our job when it was time to gather the cotton crops was to put that cotton sack over our shoulders, pick a row, pick the cotton out of the bolls, and place the cotton bolls in the sack. We were leaning over to reach the cotton stalks and dragging the cotton sack behind us. The cotton crop was important to our family because it was a cash crop and it provided for us financially. 
My older siblings were good at picking cotton. They were fast and knew how to drag that sack on their backs throwing the cotton in there in a proficient manner. They were experienced cotton pickers. They were not slackers; unlike the younger (me) of the siblings.

As I reflect on growing up on the farm and picking cotton, I remember my older siblings how they took care of me. My older siblings Ruby, Buddy, Polly, and Mary were ten, eight, seven, and four years older than me so they had a few cotton-picking years’ experience on me.Jean was two years younger so she worked at about the same pace. Kathryn the next to the youngest was a water carrier. Don’t get me wrong now. This sibling carried her “weight” on the farm. When chores were to be done, they were done. However, cotton picking presented a problem for me.

There were these critters called “black fuzzy” worms that I was terrified of. Picking cotton was just difficult for me because I was busy looking for those “black fuzzy” worms. Those critters seemed to be on the row that I chose to pick cotton on. Once I found one, then I was too scared to continue with the job at hand. My siblings always made it to the end of the cotton row; and usually they came back and helped me. They didn’t “tattle” on me. The best I can recall, Daddy never scolded me for not picking my quota. My siblings were there to the rescue again and again.

When I saw that black fuzzy critter today resting comfortably on the bricks outside the bedroom window I had flashbacks of long ago on the farm in West Carroll Parish. The critter was safe from me though. I left it to continue its cycle, and I also found out they are harmless. But that doesn’t matter to me they are still “fuzzy black worms.” But I have matured and I am not terrified of them, but I will leave them in their habitat.

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