Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX


December 10, 2012

Stooping for pecans


I visit my favorite trees frequently when the wind has been blowing to shake the nuts loose. Nuts from a tree with smaller but tasty pecans have fallen into the homeowners yard. I plan to ask the homeowner if I can pick them up from his yard.

 I wish I had a frailing pole like the ones used when I was growing up at Squaw Mountain. Not far from our house, in a field, seven pecan trees stood in a row. We called them the Seven Sisters. Each year at pecan-picking-up-time, the word went out, and a day was set. Here came aunts and uncles and cousins. And picnic lunches.

 And frailing poles and tarps The poles were like heavy fishing poles. Tarps were spread on the ground under a tree, a strong-armed person frailed the tree. After hitting the low-lying limbs, someone would climb up into the tree to hit those in the top so they’d turn loose their nuts. And the pecans would be gathered from the tarps and put into burlap bags. Some went onto the ground outside the tarps and it was the job of us kids to pick those up.

When we kids tired of picking up pecans, we played games in the field, or went to nearby Lynn Creek. But we always came back in time to eat our share of the picnic foods.

My older sister said that one time, when she and an older brother were kids, went down to pick up pecans. They didn’t notice that some cattle had been turned into the field. A bull decided they were invading his territory and began threatening them. They climbed up into one of the trees, out of his reach. But they couldn‘t stay there forever, so when he grazed a short distance from the tree, they climbed down and ran as fast as they could to the fence. And managed to get across before the bull could catch up with them.

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