This is the time of year we used to go berry pickin' when I was a kid. There is nothing better than a bowl of fresh blackberries or raspberries with milk and sugar on them. We would load up and go as a family or when we were at my Granny Brennan's house there were berries all over the mountain and we just had to take a bowl and make our way down the side of the mountain to get some sweet, juicy goodness.
Of course there were plenty of briars but we didn't worry about that. In those days a kid was allowed to get a scratch without someone running them to the emergency room!
Then there was the final warning as you walked out the door, "Watch for snakes!" Apparently snakes like berries. I never did see one but we knew not to take even one step in tall grass or briar covered brush without looking at the ground in front of us or making sure that a snake wasn't perched on the branch when we grabbed the berries off the vine.
Of course, what self respecting snake is going to perch itself on a briar covered branch to get a berry or two - it just doesn't make sense. But we never got snake bitten so there must have been some logic to the warning.
Then there was the time I was riding a pony, bareback with no bridle) down the mountain between my Granny's house and Junior and Ermalee's (granny's sister and her husband) house next door. There was a nice sized strawberry patch there. The pony decided to partake of the juicy goodness of the strawberries. When it put it's head down to feast, I had nothing to hold on to. I slid right over it's head and rolled on down the mountain. How embarrassing!
Speaking of rolling down the mountain. Does anybody remember going to the top of a hill and rolling all the way to the bottom - just because it was fun. We would pick up so much momentum rolling down the mountain that there was no way to stop! In the park down from my house they had planted some bushes on the side of a hill in the shape of West Virginia. We would go all the way to the top of the panhandle and run and throw ourselves down the hill when we reached the body of the state. We wouldn't stop rolling until we crashed into the bushes on the border of Virginia! It was a Blast!