While I was out in the cold searching for something green in January,
I spied clumps of mistletoe high up in several trees.
I have always found this hemiparasite fascinating.
The American type is named Phoradendron which means tree thief.
That’s because it steals nutrients and water from its host tree.
It uses these supplies to carry out photosynthesis.
How did the mistletoe get way up there?
A bird ate the berries and pooped the seeds onto a branch.
The name mistletoe means dung on a twig.
Seeing it hanging up there reminded me of one of daddy’s stories.
Daddy was a young entrepreneur. He tried many clever ways to make a buck back then.
He and a buddy found a tree full of balls of mistletoe. They got the idea of selling it.
The two went around town taking orders for bundles of mistletoe to hang in doorways for the Christmas holidays.
An old custom is to kiss under the mistletoe for luck, love, fertility…
So the boys got enough orders to make their effort worthwhile
so they chopped down the old tree, laden with mistletoe.
Gravity played a mean trick on our boys ,the crash down knocked all the berries off.
When the boys delivered their bundles of mistletoe, no one wanted mistletoe with no berries.
No berries, no money.
I feel sorry for poor little daddy and his buddy,
but my real sympathy goes to the poor tree.
P.S. The European form of mistletoe (Viscum album) is used to treat epilepsy and colon cancer. Oh the irony!
Daddy is in rehab getting stronger every day. Now may be a good time to collect more “Daddy Stories.”
Stay warm folks.