When I was about eight years old, and visiting my Granny on her farm in Texas, I stepped on a rusty nail while exploring around back of some old sheds. I limped back up to the house, the inside of my shoe squishy with blood. Mom washed my foot with soap and hot water, checking to make sure no debris was left inside the deep puncture wound. Then Granny sat me down in the kitchen, my foot soaking in a pan filled with hot water and a heaping handful of Epsom Salts, "to draw out the toxin," she said.
"Lockjaw!" I heard from every adult relative that came in and saw me sitting there. I'd seen The Wizard of Oz. I imagined the rust from the nail creeping up through my body, freezing me up just like the Tin Woodman, until I couldn't even utter the word, "oilcan" . . .
Anyone planning on working in the garden should read "The Rest of the Story" (RIP Paul Harvey) in my post over at the Simple Green Frugal Co-op blog, here.
Since I was writing about Texas, I dug out this old photo of my Uncle Emmett and me. One time, early in the morning at Granny's, I heard a gunshot. I ran outside, barefooted and in my pajamas, to find my Uncle holding an armadillo he'd shot when he and his old hound dog caught it digging under the chicken coop.