When I was a boy, one September, my Dad asked me if I would like to go hunting squirrels with him. Without hesitation, I could hardly wait.
“But, Dad, I don’t have a gun,” I queried?
He then surprised me by saying that I could now use the 410 gauge shotgun that was in our gun closet. I had shot it once before, but would need some instruction that he provided.
We drove to the Bogg’s farm in Morrow County where my Uncle’s father had a well-forested woods. We walked across the cow pasture to get there. It was good that wore boots because it was muddy.
We entered the woods where I learned the first lesson in squirrel hunting, and that is to sit quietly on a stump and watch for squirrels. Of course, Dad located me next to a hickory nut tree to increase my chances. I sat there forever and didn’t see a single thing.
Then Dad said that we could move, and he wanted to show me something. We walked to a tree that had round yellow fruit with some hanging and some on the ground. He identified them as being paw paws.
We sang about paw paws at school, but I had never seen them. Dad picked one off the ground and told me that I should try it.
I removed a part of the peel and inside was a white mushy fruit mixed with large seeds. Dad said not to eat the seeds but just to taste the fruit.
I exclaimed, “It tastes like bananas!”
Ever since, around the start of September, I start looking for paw paw trees and the fruit. Today, my wife was the first to see them. (See the picture.) You can make a pudding from them that is like custard. Or, you can eat them raw.
Paw paws are trees with fruit that is indigenous to Ohio.