Summer was always busy, but the summer that Mahlon was a baby was especially so because Mom and Daddy had planted three acres of sweetcorn to sell plus an acre of strawberries and our own vegetable garden.
Most days when Mom, John, and David went to pick strawberries or hoe the sweetcorn I would have to stay in the house to babysit Mahlon. I enjoyed it most of the time but there were days I wished I could go outside and run and play instead of having to sit on the floor and play with Mahlon.
And then the time came when the strawberry season was over and the corn no longer needed to be hoed. Mom had picked green beans and we helped get them ready to can. Once they were all in cans she told us we can have the rest of the day off.
We ran outside and I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I found an old gallon paint pail and we ran behind the barn to where there was an old dry creek bed and all along the banks there were hundreds of burdock plants. We picked pail after pail of the pretty pink and purple burrs and then climbed into the corn-crib and dumped them out until we had a large pile. We sat down and started making baskets with the burrs . We had a whole row of varying sizes of baskets when I decided to make one that was extra big. I started with the sides and as I was ready to make the bottom it struck me how much it looked like a crown. I lifted it up for John and David to admire too and then set it on top of David's head.
David was pleased to be wearing it as John and I admired him and then I wanted it back to finish my basket. But now it didn't want to let go of his hair. I pulled at it and I got a few hands full of burdocks and the rest stayed stuck to his hair. John tried to help as we pulled and tugged to get it off David began crying and started running to Mom.
We followed him, leaving our finished baskets forgotten in the corn-crib. Once we got to the house David found Mom. She took one look at him and set him on a youth chair and started painstakingly picking the burrs from his hair. She got a lot of them but there were many more that were so hopelessly stuck that she had to cut them out. And for several weeks David looked funny with his choppy haircut.
I don't remember that Mom gave us a lecture but we never tried wearing a burdock crown again.