Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s word count:

While I’d learned the names of many plants by helping my parents on cataloging expeditions, I didn’t know much about using them. DRSS said chewing twigs of witch hazel would help with any ill effects of the spring water … or did he say spicebush twigs?
I pushed one of the shrubs out of my face and broke off a twig to chew. There were still a few of last year’s nut pods clinging. The empty shells crumbled and fell between my fingers. Nothing. Too bad, too. I was tired of eating freeze-dried rations and hoped for a little more flavor tonight. As soon as I put the twig in my mouth I knew it wasn’t going to be something I’d want to do often.
“Hey,” I croaked.
“Huh,” DRSS grunted as he hacked a path through a patch of catbriers.
“Is is witch hazel or spicebush you said to chew on?” I spat the astringent taste of witch hazel out of my mouth. My mouth felt as if all the moisture had wicked out of it and my throat puckered tight. I took a small sip of my water, swished, and spat again before taking another sip to swallow.
“Oh.” Good. That witch hazel stuff was awful.
“But if you did have the runs, the witch hazel would help quell it.”
Uggh. I gathered a few twigs and stuffed them into one of the lower leg pockets that wasn’t already too full. Never knew when I might need the nasty stuff.

from the excerpt "Taste of Witch Hazel" by Ima Erthwitch
Witch hazel flowers.

1 thought on “The Taste of Witch Hazel

Leave a Reply