A Burdock — clawed my Gown —
Not Burdock’s — blame —
But mine —
Who went too near
The Burdock’s Den —
One day in 1948, an amateur Swiss mountaineer and naturalist, George de Mestral, went on a nature walk with his dog through a field of hitchhiking bur plants. He and his dog returned home covered with burs. With an intense curiosity, Mestral went to his microscope and inspected one of the many burs stuck to his pants. He saw numerous small hooks that enabled the seed-bearing bur to cling so tenaciously to the tiny loops in the fabric of his pants. George de Mestral raised his head from the microscope and smiled thinking, “I will design a unique, two-sided fastener, one side with stiff hooks like the burs and the other side with soft loops like the fabric of my pants. I will call my invention Velcro® a combination of the words velour and crochet. It will rival the zipper in it’s ability to fasten.”
From: The Mining Company (Feature 09/12/97)
One moment you were just fine running ahead to the barn as I walked leisurely down hill to my chores – then I find you panting and miserable, immobilized on the ground, unable to get up or walk.
What could have happened to you in only a few short minutes?
I bent down expecting to discover the worst: I check your back and neck, your joints, your head for injuries. Instead I discover one front and one back leg glued to your body bound as if tied fast — by dozens of sticky burdock. You had taken a short cut through the weeds and the hooky plants hitchhiked onto your long flowing hair. The more you moved the more bound up your fur became until you had painful prickle masses poking your armpit and groin.
You were only doing your farm dog duties and the burdock seeds were doing what they do: velcroing on to you to be carried to another place to germinate and make more prickles balls.
It took fifteen minutes of you lying upside down, with a barn cat warming herself on your chest to do scissor surgery to your fur to free you of the torture. No longer immobilized, you ran free with your favorite cat in hot pursuit, and I noticed you gave wide berth to the burdock patch in the weeds.
Perhaps we all might be so quickly freed from our prickly immobilizing burdens when we wander too far into the weeds of life.
If only a mere hair cut could trim away all the troubles with which we are afflicted.
I know, in fact, our Rescuer is near at hand and I’m suspect when He needs to, He wears muck boots.