The great blueberry hunt

Blueberries. In a pie, muffins, blueberry crisp, on your morning cereal, or straight up by the handful, right off the bush. You can’t beat ‘em. They are truly one of the real treats of living in the north.
Of course anything worthwhile takes some effort. With blueberries it’s picking them. But before you can pick them you have to locate a good patch and here’s the rub. .
Those lucky enough to find a good patch, immediately suffer a case of blueberry paranoia. They will not share the location of the mother load until there’s at least a foot of snow on the ground and there is never a repeat bumper crop in the same location.
Such was the situation down in Emu- home of some really strange birds.
“Uncle Spike, you jus’ gotta tell me where there’s some good pickin’,” begged Cuddles one morning at the Cafe.
“I been runnin’ the back roads for a week an’ haven’t come up with more ‘n a couple of gallons,” she added as she took on an Orphan Annie look and sadly pushed her hair back out of her eyes pleadingly.
“Sorry, but can’t recollect where there might be any superior pickin’s,” lied Uncle Spike as he expelled a cloud of smoke up to his left and rolled his eyes in the same direction to avoid Cuddles “if looks could kill” glare.
“Don’t sweat it, Dear. I’ve gotta take a look at that job up in the bush. I’ll take you up where there’s some good pickin’s. Besides I don’t want you runnin’ them back roads anymore with the new Lincoln,” hooted Hubby.
“You payin’ fer the coffee? Let’s git at ‘er,” he snorted as he slammed his cup on the table and charged out the door.
Later as they drove down the bush road, Hubby concentrated on the road ahead. “No berries here. A few there, and there,” he commented to Cuddles as they bounced from pothole to pothole. Cuddles regarded him skeptically.
“Whoa now! She’s just loaded with ‘em here,” exclaimed Hubby as he slammed on the brakes, throwing Cuddles up against the windshield.
“How can you tell?” queried Cuddles, collecting herself back into her seat.
“Never you mind. There’s berries here by the ton, so just get yer buckets out there and get pickin’. I’ll be back in two or three hours,” directed Hubby with his usual air of superiority.
“Just you wait till I check it out,” ordered Cuddles as she disappeared into the brush. Suddenly she rushed back out onto the road.
“The bushes are just loaded!” she squealed with delight and hair flying, grabbed a half dozen buckets from the back of the truck, and disappeared back into the bush.
True to his word, Hubby returned three hours later. Cuddles had all six buckets brimming with blueberries as well as a bag improvised from her shirt, swelled with the surplus, and her face bore the telltale purple smear of extensive sampling.
“Oh Hubby, the picking was fantastic, but I’ve pretty well cleaned out that spot. Do you think you could find me another spot as good for tomorrow?” enthused Cuddles as she and Hubby rolled back towards town.
“Oh you can find ‘em yourself. Lot’s of sign up the road the next couple of miles,” offered Hubby as the old truck bounced through a series of potholes and Cuddles scrambled to keep her precious cargo intact.
“Sign? What sign?” asked Cuddles.
“Bear sign! Scats! Do-do. It’s all over the road. That’s how you locate blueberries. Look where the bears are and you’ll find good berries every time. Didn’t you notice? I guess not and from that smell, I think maybe you stepped in some,” snorted Hubby as he curled up his nose and opened the window for a little more fresh air.
Cuddles had turned white as a sheet and grown strangely silent.
“You mean you left me out there where there were bears?” she squeaked.
“Of course,” reasoned Hubby. “I knew you wouldn’t harm ‘em none.”

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