The witch and the walnut

photoart @hanginguptodry

Over the convent wall, the tree hung its proboscis-like branches, laden with walnuts. We’d strop them with school belts, split back starchy green coverings, and trample the caseings underfoot.

“Don’t eat them – the witch is looking” warned one of us and all eyes would glance towards the small, dim window, where a dummy face pressed unblinking at the huddle of young foragers.

Hunger usually got the better of superstition especially out of sight of the witch’s protean magic but on occasion my stomach would churn at the notion that the creamy convolutions were proof of the old lady’s head-shrinking abilities.

Now I’m ageing like a seedy wallflower in the corner of a smart London square.  But I am not alone and there is a walnut tree too. It taps staccato on the glass when the wind is in the west and lulls with a midnight waltz.

A 4th of July without fireworks with 11 of the word choices for Wordle #116


8 thoughts on “The witch and the walnut

    1. 😈 beware the black walnut! (though J. regia – common or English walnut has less antifungal/antiparasitic properties).

    1. jugalons is a crafty potion* produced by the tree to prevent other plants taking its space and nutrients – I believe the fruit is as tasty but stains the hands even more so.
      [*hence a herbal remedy for fungal, yeast and parasitic infections]

      1. Yes, we have many Black Walnuts at our “cottage” property. I don’t try to garden there, but it helps me to see which plants are juglone-tolerant. The neighbors annually harvest the nuts, but it takes quite a bit of work to crush the husks and dry them, etc. The squirrels love them, of course. 🙂

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