Death By Stick-Tights!

When you’re new to the woods, unknown things can be very scary. Take sticker bushes for example. They are suspicious nasty looking weeds that sprout a vicious little stick-tight. What’s a stick-tight? Think high tech Velcro in miniature, like a sesame seed. When they dry out and turn brown, they stick even tighter to clothes, hair, fur, etc.

One fine cheery autumn day, my sister’s whole family was out in the woods. The parents were cutting wood, the two boys were playing at the edge of a ravine. Suddenly, my oldest nephew was viciously pushed by his little brother who was trying to kill him (or maybe he tripped, but that’s how he told it in the heat of moment). Down he slid and rolled into a huge ravine (might have been a gully), smack into the dreaded sticker bushes.

Being young and new to the woods, he didn’t know what they were. All he knew was that he was on his back, against some weeds, slightly propped up, and he couldn’t move. He was totally stuck to the weeds by the stick-tights, bouncing slightly as he valiantly tried to get up. Like any traumatized boy would do (Hey, it was attempted murder and attack of the sticker bushes at the same time!), he let loose a deathly howl and wildly struggled against the weeds, causing a minimally bigger bounce and getting more stuck. My sister and brother-in-law had to both go down into the ravine to heave-ho and haul him out of the weeds (You try peeling off a child-size piece of Velcro sometime!).

And what a sad sight he was. Covered head-to-toe in stick tights – even his hair. As they attempted to pick them off he was crying, “It hurts, it hurts!” My sister rationally said, “No it doesn’t. Calm down.” He sucked in his breath to be brave, but kept crying silently and snuffling for the next minute. Finally the real source of his panic came out - the scary unknown - and he whispered in a small quavering voice, “Mom, am I going to die?”

Curse them dang deathly stick-tights in the big scary woods!

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