the pear facts

November 24, 2014

Artwork by katherine sandoz

Washington did not chop down his daddy’s cherry tree.

At Ferry Farm, in Virginia, while there were as many as seven children being raised, pears didn’t grow though they’d been brought to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1799 by a man named Bartlett. This city no longer harvests the fruit but has been hometown to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakahn, Donna Summer and a couple of New Edition members.  Social media not being what it is now, Bartlett – not knowing that the pears already had been named Williams Bon Chrétien or Williams – used his own.

Now, had Washington been an ancient Chinese man, and the tree a pear, he’d certainly not cut down the living symbol of immortality.  If he were Chechen of the Nakh tribe, he’d consider the pear tree sacred.  According to Wikipedia, the Nakh used “pear-trees in particular, for exercising rituals.”  This is fascinating (if true), but surely the writer is mistaken and means exorcising rituals – without a hyphen to join the pear and the tree.  It’s the partridge that accompanies the pear tree after all – as in the bird is in the pear tree in the late days of November and through December.

The end of the year also brings us to the close of our pear facts – and pure fun.  We’ve clearly cleared things up.  And if you feel we haven’t and your protesting leaves you with a hoarse, sore voice or a hacking cough, steam or boil a hollowed pear filled with ginger and honey and eat it as a soup.  Do not skin the fruit as suggested by most online recipes.

With this, you will – backed by centuries of practice – be exorcised of your illness and of disabused of believing a third child of such a large family would ever dare cut down a food source.

george washington & pear orchard, 6″ x 9″, mixed media on manila folder, 2014

This and other works by katherine sandoz available for purchase HERE.

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