Once Upon a Time in the West: an encounter with tribulous terrestris

Today when browsing my email I read a post from a friend at bdale56, which led me to follow a link to littlesundog  .   I was curious about the blog’s name, as Little Sun Dog is what we sometimes call Tucker.   Therein, she had posted about ‘Damnable Weeds,’ and discussed the Goatshead bur.   That caused me to recall a time from my early childhood…

English: Tribulus terrestris (flower). Locatio...

Image via Wikipedia

The Goat’s Head Bur ~  looks tame, flower is cute, BUT… Read on friends.

Oh, how I remember those goat’s head burs!  My first, and worst, memory was from when I was a child of four.  I ran out into the field near our new house to catch a kitten and got stuck in the biggest sticker patch ever.  It had to be ten feet in any direction and I was right smack in the middle of it before I even registered the pain of my predicament.   With each step the bottoms of my little feet would become  covered in those evil stickers.  It was, as you might imagine, like walking on thumbtacks.  I lifted a foot, pulled them out, took a step and picked up more of the evil seed heads.

Tribulus terrestris L. - puncturevine thorns

Image via Wikipedia

Evil seed heads

Screaming and wailing piteously had  alerted a young teen passing by the field.  He yelled over to me and asked, “Do you need some help?”

To which I yelled back, “Nooooo!” 

Seriously.  My parents had raised me to never-ever talk to strangers, and he was a stranger.

Ignoring my protest, he crossed the field and came to my rescue.   Scooping  me up in his arms, he carried me out of the field, then sitting down, he carefully pulled each and every sticker out of my little feet.  My little face was hot, red, and covered in tears by the time he had finished.  I remember thanking him as he got up to continue his walk on down the road.  You know, I never saw him again, but he was at the top of my Hero list for a very long time!


Now you and I know that pulling weeds is not a chore that is enjoyed by anyone, especially a child,   and as I learned young to hate the weed, well eradication was never a chore!   In fact, I rather took joy in seeking them out and pulling them up as soon as I spotted them, anywhere, any time.


I am so glad that the evil Goat’s Head weed does not grow here.

10 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time in the West: an encounter with tribulous terrestris

  1. littlesundog says:

    Thank you for mentioning my link. Growing up in Nebraska, we did not have goat heads that I can remember, but we did have those wicked sand burs. I can’t imagine, at the age of four, that you would ever have dared walk bare-footed again after such an experience! What is most wonderful is the part about your hero! It would be wonderful to see him today, and I’ll bet he would remember you.

    Oklahoma has a lot of undesirable plant life, reptile life and animal life that I was unfamiliar with up north. I’m learning… and adapting!! Glad to meet another farm gal!

    • pixilated2 says:

      Strangely, I lived in bare feet as a child. You’d have thought I would have learned my lesson! Although, I did get better as I got older at looking where I was going. As an adult I have become a sissy and you rarely see me barefoot except in summer, and then only in the house!

      BTW, my father was from Nebraska. 🙂

    • pixilated2 says:

      You know Bob, in California I had to put ‘bullet proof’ tires on my bicycle. Heavy duty tires and tubes, and an extra liner between them to help keep these buggers out. I got tired of flats. It worked. 😉

    • pixilated2 says:

      Patti, they are terrible. They hurt going in, taking them out, and for several days after. Don’t know if it’s just me (alergic?), but it seems as though the area is a bit swollen and tender afterwards. It’s like there is an irritating substance on them that adds extra misery. 😐

So how about that? Go on; say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s