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.

Courtesy photo Pictured is the fruit from the paw paw tree, native to the Buckeye State.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2016/08/web1_DSCN0319.jpgCourtesy photo Pictured is the fruit from the paw paw tree, native to the Buckeye State.

By Jim George

Special to The Sentinel

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