We spent Thanksgiving on Long Island.
Returning to the city, I let my guard down as the dog and I strolled along the upper path in Riverside Park. I was daydreaming, working out a problem in a short play I’m writing. Suddenly I noticed the poor dog was limping. Leaves were hanging off his hind legs, but leaves don’t make a dog limp.
The culprit? My old enemy. Burrs!
I pulled off the leaves to reveal the hated seeds of the burdock plant.
The evil burdock plants that line the path had once again entangled my dog’s fur with sticky seeds, turning the poor beast into Johnny Burdockseed, an inadvertent carrier spreading the gospel of burdock wherever he might go.
Still distracted by my thoughts, I didn’t think to take off my mittens before pulling out the burrs.
Grrr. These things are almost impossible to pull out of thick knitted fabric. They break apart easily, and stick to everything they touch, even bare skin. For more on the incredible sticking properties of burdock and the amazing invention they inspired, watch Kelly Rypkema’s video on burdock.
Here are burrs dangling off a burdock plant, like ornaments on Morticia Adams’s Christmas tree.
But lest the brown withered stalk make you think the plant is on its last, er, legs, just take a look at those big healthy-looking green leaves. This burdock is here to stay.
Damn you, burdock. Leave my dog alone.