Jessica Mc Hugh – Blackberry Picking
By Jessica Mc Hugh
It was the 31st of August. I was staying at my uncle Jack’s house. He lived on a small farm across from the most beautiful meadows and fields I had ever seen. I was sitting in the living room with the rest of the family when Uncle Jack came in. He was carrying a large bucket which I was not enthusiastic about but the rest of the family seemed to be. He dropped the bucket carefully and I heard small clinking sounds as if glass bottles were being pushed together ever so slightly. Uncle Jack took out a nice little jam jar and handed one to each of us. ‘’It’s a ritual to go blackberry picking’’ he explained to me when he saw the confused look on my face. As if on cue the rest of the family sprinted out the door and down the nearest meadow. Glee filled my heart as our jars filled with blackberries. A rich, dark coloured pile of blackberries. I was cautious to dodge the prickled brambles that held the blackberries.
I gazed upon the thorny brambles laden with the glossy purple berries. Not all were the purple berries, some were the hard green and red berries. We eagerly dashed from bramble to bramble. Each of us eager to get the most after each jarful has been contributed to the bucket. Dark blobs were splattered on our peppered palms and fingers. Our hands were as sticky as Bluebeard’s. I noticed the tell tale signs on some of the younger children, their purple lips matched by their purple tongues. ‘’Pull them tenderly or else they will squash’’ my uncle warned me, noticing my stained hands. I popped some in my mouth, savouring the juiciness. It was so juicy I am surprised it didn’t slip down the side of my mouth. I soon remembered my challenge of getting the first jar filled so I resumed my blackberry picking and placing in the jar, thorns stabbing my hand no matter how careful I was.
Everyone was in a trance as they watched the blackberry jam bubble violently. Soon the sterilized jars that were once filled with the luscious fruit of the summer were turned into the rich jam. We carefully filled the jars with jam. We waited patiently for it to cool. When I got the first taste it was beyond delicious. It melted on the roof of my mouth. We all spread some on vanilla ice-cream. I added the date to my calendar that night. Blackberry Picking it read. The next year as we raced down the hill I was the most eager.
Jessica Mc Hugh, 6th Class
SN an Croí Ró Naofa ,Belclare,Tuam Co Galway