My pawpaw twigs and bark

It took some practice to find the right trees. I learned to look for the recognizable leaves on the ground. They are extremely long and I know their shape. The dead fallen leaves fold in half along the midrib, and make a curved shape. I unfolded them to verify how huge they are. Only pawpaw leaves are that big and that recognizable of a shape.

I couldn’t get much bark because I didn’t want to hurt the trees. I got perhaps too many twigs, and I think the twigs are less potent than the bark, but I’m not sure – it doesn’t matter, it must all get used.

The branches of the pawpaw tree jut out at an almost right angle from the branch, like crosses. This branch style becomes recognizable after you’ve seen it a few times. If you see those kind of branches, with the relatively smooth bark, with the little tiny sideways dots on the bark, and the folded large leaves all over the ground, you can be pretty sure it’s the right one. I know that at least one cutting tasted like pawpaw, the fruit. It’s very faint and barely detectable.

When I came home, I think I woke Mom up, and she vomited. It’s partly my fault and partly not my fault. She’s doing that a lot anyway, it’s just that if anything at all wakes her up, she might throw up.

I’m going to cut these up into smaller pieces. I wish I could totally mash them, like with a mortar and pestle, but I don’t have one. I’m going to soak them in water and try to make a drinkable tea from them, without any solid objects in it, so that she is able to drink it, and I will share this tea.

After nibbling on some of the pieces, I felt the familiar burning in my stomach, nausea, and a brief feeling of faintness and dizziness. There was indeed a poison! It wasn’t much. But poison is there, the precious poison we are seeking. I can go hunt more and more of this, although I cannot afford to totally destroy the pawpaw trees and must hunt for other groves of them. Maybe I must ask people if they have knowledge of more groves.

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