We have donated clothes and furniture, toys and time, books and money; all the things you also have donated. It is what we all do to ease the burdens of others or support a charitable cause. Today, we made a donation unlike any other.
It all started last Saturday when we visited Lake Katherine. We were in the nature center. Tom was coming up the stairs as I was going down. There, on the landing, half up and half down, was this wonderful poster identifying the many mushrooms and fungi that sprout in our area. There, dead center, with a fairy ring dancing round and around, was an illustration of a puffball. We were chatting about it when a voice behind us queried “Did you say you have puffballs in your yard?”. An employee of the center, she was fascinated with our puffy story, saying that if we would like to dig it up she would love to display one.
Most of our gang of puffballs are gone now; deflated, eaten by the woodchuck or dessert for the deer, chunks of puff scattered about.
One, only one, remained. The one measured by the size of my sandal still sat near the arbor, still growing, although with less zeal.
Tom carefully dug the puffball out,
put it into a lined box,
and nestled it securely into the trunk of the car.
I drove away with my precious produce, avoiding bumps in the road and sharp turns; not an easy ride for puffballs, like all things that play with elves and gnomes, emanated the most obnoxious of odors that managed to seep through the car’s ventilation system.
I soon waddled up the walkway from my now noxious car to the nature center, avoiding a gaggle of preschoolers excited over the geese pecking about. I was greeted with as much enthusiasm as Santa Claus by the very same Saturday lady, who gurgled with glee , “Oh, my, you really did bring one!”.
The soon-to-be famous Cutoff Puff now sits on the stairway display case, half up and half down, measuring just over 18 inches long. It looks like a dinosaur egg sitting in its nest. I wonder how long it will sit there before some curious lad or lass pokes it.
I also wonder if can we claim it as a charitable donation on our income tax?