First-rate Fig

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Based on the pumpkin memoir by Mark Twain


I know how a first-rate fig looks when it is tanning the last of its green garments purple and black in its surrounding of fairer contemporaries; I know how to tell when its harvesting is due without disrupting the trees and its leaves, and I can see the first love pecks made by knowing birds; I know the sight of its immaculate tapestry of emerald seeds and ruby red flesh when the knife cuts cleanly; I know how it smells, once gathered and put to boil, as it caramelizes and bathes in bubbles; I know how its tastes when a mother invites feedback at those early stages, and the children lick their spoons clean; I know how a child strategizes their answers of "a little more lemon" or "there's not enough cinnamon" so that they may continue tasting; I know the community feeling when all the family turns up to help with the rolling; I know the pleasant popping sound the seeds make when the rolling pin begins flattening the thickened fig purée, and I can see the children's appetite growing as the purées sides begin extending; I know how a boy looks at the drying leathers on a warm day, and I know how he feels as he takes a bite many hours too early; for I have never regretted that too. I know the taste of the fig fruit leather, and I know the memories of making it together too.

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