Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Date Jar

Dear Reader,

                                                                                  A Glossy Labrador


A woman who lived in Kenya was puzzled as to why the glossy coat of her labrador dog was often remarked on.  She simply didn't understand the reason for this admiration because she didn't feed him a special diet, in fact, nothing out of the ordinary.  But she did discover his secret.  The dog had taken a liking to avocados and was eating the ones that had fallen from a tree in the garden. Hence his glossy coat. 

In the 16th century Spanish explorers travelling to Mexico, where avocados grew in profusion, became the first Europeans to eat them.  By the time of the Spanish Conquest avocados had spread from Mexico through Central America into parts of South America.  The Spanish eventually brought avocados to Europe and sold them to other countries including England.  The first written record in English of the use of the word "avocado" was by Sir Hans Sloane in a 1696 index of Jamaican plants.  The word 'avocado' is believe to be derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word 'ahuactl', which means 'testicle' and obviously described the shape of the fruit.  It is also likely that the Nahuatl speaking peoples believed that it was an aphrodisiac.  So there could be all sorts of excitements in store if we all ate more avocados.
                                                                            *


The Date Jar  

(after cancer operation)


On the breakfast table I noticed
the date jar,
hiding a little behind the cereals,
the milk, the marmalade, the sugar bowl,
and a small jug full of early daffodils.

The date jar?

My throat constricted.
It was the thought he had had,
laying things out,
that I might like a date,
that touched the chord.


                                                                              *

Very best wishes, Patricia


                                                                             

4 comments:

Emma D said...

Didn't know the etymology of the word avocado was so...interesting! Touching poem too xx

Jessica said...

A lovely poem encapsulating the feeling a little act of kindness can bring. Thank you.

Rebecca Abrey said...

The thought really does count doesn't it. I love this poem. Thank you

Anonymous said...

What a lovely poem. In two short verses it conveys so much.

And obviously we should all eat lots more avocados!