The Spring Fling Writing Contest is upon us once again. And once again, I couldn't resist writing about a regional spring tradition: Fiddleheadin'! (Last year, I covered maple syrup.) Can you guess where I am?
Well, maybe you know what fiddleheads are and correctly guessed New England. Or maybe you have never heard of them before? They are considered a spring delicacy by some and are only available for 4-6 weeks, usually from late April to mid-May. Picking them is a family tradition for many folks. So whether you are learning of them for the first time here or have fond memories of gathering these fern tops from the banks of brooks, I hope you enjoy my short story about them below.
FIDDLEHEADIN' By Hollie Wolverton (147 words)
Every year…sometime after the snow melts and the days warm up…Grandpa winks at me and says, “It’s time.”
I don’t know how he knows, but he’s never wrong.
So every year, we grab buckets and slip into the pine trees behind the house.
Our boots leave footprints in the mud.
And every year, when we reach the stream deep in the woods, they’re there.
Popping their curled-up heads out of the ground.
“Fiddleheads!” I always squeal.
Then we bend and break them off with our fingers. Taking only one from each plant. Leaving plenty so they will come back again next year.
Buckets full, we head home. To clean them and cook them.
Together, Grandpa and I eat big bowls of buttered fiddleheads.
And every year, I say, “They taste so good!”
And he says, “They taste like spring.”
Then he winks at me.
Every year. To read my maple syrup entry in last year's contest, click here.
To learn more about the contest, click here. Huge thank you to Ciara O'Neal and Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez for putting this on!
The fiddlehead GIF is from giphy.com. It was one of only two on the site.