Friday, February 17, 2012

Outlaw: Part Two

…continued from yesterday.
Dooley was not around for breakfast the next morning. I suspected he was out sniffing happily up and down the run for Jessie’s treasure. I thought briefly about walking out that way and checking on him but I was working on a new electrically charged pest fence for my garden and never got around to it. Dooley came in about dusk, tired, hungry and covered with dirt. I filled his bowl with some fresh food but he was already sound asleep in the corner. Next morning his bowl was empty and he was gone again. Around noon I fixed some lunch and sat down to plan my seed purchase for the spring. I glanced over to Dooley’s sleeping corner and casually made a note to myself that I needed to sweep up the dirt he had been tracking in. Then a terrifying realization hit me. Dooley wasn’t just sniffing for the bacon cache; he was digging the pa’jeebers out of Raven Run. The Run is where my secret wild ginseng patch is located. Good, sellable, ginseng root takes years to cultivate. Last year it was selling for as much as $500 a pound. I had inadvertently turned a small tenacious digging machine loose on one of my most valuable crops. If my ginseng patch was gone I had only myself to blame. I could have said the treasure was over at Owl Rock or Fish Trap Hollow, but I specified Raven Run.
No, I didn’t run right over to stop him digging. Dooley’s fun meant more to me than a few roots. I did, however, fry up close to 3 pounds of bacon, stuffed it into a coffee can and buried it on a hillside over at Raven Run that night as Dooley slept.
For legal reasons, I can’t say whether or not Dooley dug up my ginseng patch. The growing and digging of ginseng root is stringently regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to suggest Dooley may have “over harvested” my patch with his digging could result in punitive action being taken by Federal officials. I will end this saying only, ”Who knows what is good or what is bad.”

*Irene Note: So, where is this patch exactly….?


Angela said...

So you have ginseng in your woods? About 2 years ago I wanted to search for ginseng and ramps on our property but didn't do it. I then decided that I'd start my own ramps at a secret place where we would know they were and could go get them when we want. It's easier that way! lol They did take root and we now have a nice little patch of ramps growing in our woods. I do know we have yellow root because 16 years ago when we first moved here these little old ladies stopped by. They asked if they could go rootin to which I said sure because they told me they had been here before. I thought they'd walk across the creek and then be back in 20 minutes or so but no they were gone for hours! I thought I was going to have to call out a search party for those little old ladies! They were OLD! I have no idea where they went but they did come back with yellow root and gave me some. I had no idea what to do with it! lol

Roger said...

Angela, I uderstand you mentioned Paul and my blog in one of your posts. I still have only 2 regular readers and I appreciate the plug. My dad loved ramps. he used to go to the Ramp Festival over in Richwood, W.Va. I hope you read the Taoist Parable that Irene included in Outlaw. I included that with you in mind when Irene told me you may be facing some medical challenges. Hope all is well. Roger