gracious of me until she said that they might want to borrow it just to provide hot water for the home-made tea they’d be serving. Foolishly I asked what kind of tea they had in mind.
“We’ve been working at combining some of the more common teas, those you can make from local plants and such, and we think we’ve got a winner,” she told me. “It should work for heart, liver, pancreas and bladder problems, as well as help alleviate excessive gas. We won’t actually make those claims, of course. We’ll just hint that they might be helped.”
“ Er, do I dare ask what’s in the tea?” Even I heard the magistrate’s tone in my voice.
“Oh nothing that could hurt anybody,” she defended. “We’ve combined dandelion, the inner bark of willow, some St. John’s Wort, Valerian and a few other natural things. We added a lot of mint to kind of cover some of the odd tastes. Mint’s really good for you, you know. We chose peppermint for the stomach.”
I thought people might need the peppermint. I’d inquire later into the exact “few other natural things”. Maybe I’d have Patsy do it. Let her be the one to be called unadventurous. She, however, had no intention of falling into my trap. The next morning, at breakfast, she choked a little, but she didn’t say a word to back me up, the coward.
“I’d like to have the recipe if you think it really works,” I said to my aunt, rather sneakily.
“We can sell you some,” she countered. “But you can’t steal the recipe.”
Patsy definitely choked that time.
“No, I wouldn’t sell it when it’s clearly your invention, but I never take anything when I’m not sure what I’m ingesting.”
She thought that over, and while she no doubt found it yet another example of my old-fashioned attitude toward life, she came to the decision that what I said was reasonable to some degree—especially for someone with my wimpy nature. “I can make up a list for you if you really want.”
“I’d like to buy some from you,” I assured her. “You know how much I love the natural teas. I like to try anything new. Do I have all the right herbs and things growing in my garden?”
“Most of them,” she thought about it. “There might be one or two others.”
“Well, if I’m not allergic to them, I’d like to try the tea.” I turned back to my food, behaving with great casualness. My less than helpful niece went to the refrigerator, behind Aunt Myrtle, and applauded me silently. I ignored her.
Hopefully I could actually pin my elderly relative down in the next few days.
Old-fashioned, conservative, unadventurous or not, I intended to find out exactly what they intended selling to the general public.
Fortune telling has been going on since virtually the beginning of Mankind. As quickly as man’s mind developed, he began to wonder what was going to happen to him after he died—very much the way man does today. Since we’re worldly creatures for the most part, he soon began to question his near future as well, that being easier to handle. Telling fortunes can be done by tossing sticks in the air to land where they may—or by throwing down the entrails of a sacrificed animal—and then having the patterns they create studied by experts. The western world seems to rely more on crystal balls, Tarot readings, and astrology forecasts. Scrying from simple to complex form is popular. Some people feel life is pre-ordained, and to them the future is something unavoidable. Most fortune tellers believe that what is foretold is merely the future that the person’s path is leading him at the moment. It’s something that can be changed to some degree. There might be danger ahead, but it can often be avoided by alertness, or even by attitude changes.
The tea, surprisingly, was okay. By that I mean there was nothing poisonous or potentially dangerous to anybody who didn’t suffer from any unusual allergies. It tasted absolutely awful,
Thomas A Watson, Michael L Rider