“Bzzzzz”; “Bzzzzz!” I picked up my phone off the kitchen table and perused through the text message from Shelby. “I’ve got a kiddos who says he needs to make a little money so that he can do a little shopping at his favorite ‘farm and home’ store. If you happen to have any chores that he could make a quarter or two, he would be thrilled.” I chuckled as I placed my phone back on the table, turning the sound to the ‘on’ position. I immediately thought of hedge apples.
Some of you may be wondering what, exactly, a hedge apple (or ball) is. I really wish I could tell you more about what they are good for, but I will tell you what I know. A hedge apple or ball is the fruit of an Osage orange tree. It is a large lime green orb an with bumpy skin. On the inside it has sections, just like an orange. They secrete this sticky, glue-like liquid which is hard to wash off. Some people swear by them saying they keep away the spiders and mice which make themselves welcome in the fall. Personally, I’m a bit skeptical about this remedy, but many people in these parts love stopping and grabbing a few from our yard for this home remedy insecticide. Let’s just say they are a very popular item in the fall.
Later in the morning (after the cute little text) I drove to town to run some errands. At the grocery store, the manager was bagging groceries where I was checking out. We exchanged our greetings and then I popped the question, “Are you interested in selling some hedge apples in your produce section this fall?” “Sure, I’d take some,” he said. I proceeded to tell him about the text regarding my 4 year old grandson’s willingness to work for some quarters. He laughed. I told him he might see the two of us later on in the day. My heart leaped for joy. “This is gonna be a fun little learning experience,” I thought to myself.
One o’clock came and in drove a van full of excited children. They all wanted to participate! Thomas showed me his money can…..his very important prized possession!
This guy hung right in there til the last sticky citrusy smelling hedge ball was gathered.
“Gramma, I’ll do it! This is my job!” Wow! I was impressed that perhaps his parents taught him at home about the responsibility of who was making the quarter!
We got them loaded and took off for town.
He scrambled up into the trunk and placed every single sticky ball into the manager’s hand.
Now…….how cute it that!!!!
The manager then asked us to come inside to “settle up” with him. Thomas hurriedly proclaimed, “Gramma, I have to get my money can out of the back seat of the car!!!” “OK, OK,”, I said, not knowing it was such a big deal. He grabbed his can and in we went. The Fareway manager gave him the money (I should have asked for it in quarters) and off we went……with a smile on our faces and a money can full. Thomas had made his first sale!
He had a good afternoon. I believe he learned in his 4-year-old little way the good feeling that comes from hard work. And he did work hard. He worked until the last hedge ball was picked up, in the trunk, delivered to town and in the hands of the grocer.
I think his smile tells it all!
“From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.” Proverbs 12:14
Labor is good for us all. Completing a task, especially a hard one, brings much satisfaction.
Just drove home from another trip to town. There are hedge apples scattered over the gravel road, ditch and yard.
Better give the grandkids a call . 🙂