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Shirán

Friends,
My childhood corn field meanderings were inevitably followed by the dreaded process of removing small black splinters from my socks and pants. The culprit: a small weed in the undergrowth known in these parts as shirán. Its slender seeds were equipped with two sharp prongs whose diabolical design included a myriad barbs that latched onto fabric like Velcro. Minutes that felt like hours were spent tediously plucking these little devil seeds off one by one. Now shirán wasn’t all bad. The small white flowers were pretty enough, but the immature seed stalks were the best part. If you gathered them at the right development stage, they made perfect darts. Their tips stuck to clothing on contact, and unlike their older selves, held together very well, so they didn’t make a mess and you could reuse them many times. Countless unaware adults walked away with these darts clinging to their coats or sweaters, to the delight of mischievous youths. Who would have thought seeing this plant again would bring a big smile to my face. A bigger smile than even biting into a donut (and that’s saying something).
Happy Friday!


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