The fire was burning in the old log fireplace and a black pot hung from above with something boiling inside of it. The smell of pine needles filled the room with its aroma. A little old lady was busily mixing this and that in a large mixing bowl. As she stirred the pudding-like mixture she hummed a cheerful sound. Now and again she lifted her head to see what the weather was doing outside. The sounds of tree limbs popping from the trees outside let her know the wind was kicking up its heels.
It was winter in the little town of Griffin’s Way and all the weather reports on the radio gave folks the warning that the next few days could be very dangerous outside. People were cautioned not to leave their homes if at all possible. The sound of rain clicking against the windowpane made a scary noise but Rosey kept stirring her mixture just the same.
Rosey was born with a slightly long nose and all the youngsters thought of her as some sort of witch-like lady who spent most of her time making up potions for the sick. She did mix up potions but she wasn’t a real witch at all.
Everyone near and far knew Rosey had a potion for just about everything, even the nose.
“The nose knows what folks need to know.” Rosey sang aloud.
“I’ll use a little pine rosen and a bit of willow bark. Then I’ll toss in some eucalyptus oil and mix it all up to perfection. A little twist of the wrist and a rat a tat tat with the thumps and I will make the red nose feel as good as it comes. Colds come and colds go but with Roses’s famous mixture its stay will be short-lived.” She smiled merrily.
Suddenly there came a knock at the door. Rosey wiped her hands on her yellow apron she had tied around her waist and scurried to the door. Who could be out on a day such as this, she wondered.
Opening the heavy wooden door her eyes gazed upon a tall man covered with a big brimmed hat and dark green raincoat. He was carrying a bundle wrapped tightly under his coat. “My little ones are sick Miss Rosey and I don’t know what to do.” The deep raspy voice called out. It was farmer Tomberlin who lived just a few miles down the road towards Richardson creek.
Rosey could see he was soaking wet from the rain and needed attention at once.
“Come into the house and sit by the fire. I’ll get some blankets for you and the little one.” She whispered as she made her way to the stack of blankets piled high upon a wooden trunk.
“The right way to blow the nosey and to get it all cleaned out – is to hold your finger over the right nostril, and push all the air right out into the tissue. Then hold your finger on the left side and blow all that nasty stuff out, no doubt.” Rosey sang making her advise into a song. “You can blow it all you need to but use really soft tissues. Rosey’s nose must have really soft tissues or Rosey’s nosey will have sore, painful issues.” She sang quite proud of her rhyming words. She remembered how red and sore her nose sometimes became when she had a cold or flu.
“Rub a little dab of salve on the end of the nose and it will feel as soft as a pink morning rose. I’m just a poet and I do know it.” She said as she danced a jig around the floor.
“I was just making up a new batch of stuff that will fix that sickness your little one has. Just give me a few minutes and I’ll put it in a bag. We will have to rub the paste on the chest and tie a bag around the neck. The smell will open that little nose so at least it can breathe better. Then I will heat some syrup I made a few months back. It will drive that sickness right out of the chest in no time at all.” She muttered as she shuffled here and there.
It wasn’t long until the small bundle began wiggling and squirming all around. Three pink noses popped out of the blanket. There was snorting and sneezing to beat the band.
“Oh my goodness what do we have here?” She said as she turned around to take a peek inside Mr. Tomberlin’s blanket. “My goodness and happy heart, I am surprised to see those little pink noses.” She smiled a big smile and hurried to get her elixir. There were a few squeals and a snort or two but the warmth of the fireplace soon calmed the noses down.
“Well sir, I sure didn’t know you had these little fellows. I can see those little noses are red as can be. I’ll just open up the blanket and rub some extra paste on the bellies. I’ll fix you up a bottle of this to take home with you. It won’t be long until they will be good as new. You had better keep them in the dry until after this weather passes. Some good fresh dry hay will make a fine bed for them.” She continued.
“I’m sure glad you know what to do. I was afraid they were coming down with pneumonia and that is a very bad thing to have especially for ones so small.” Mr. Tomberlin said shaking his head from worry. “They only weigh two or three pounds each and one is the runt. He probably doesn’t weigh that much. The sow gave birth a couple weeks ago. It is a good thing I found them before this cold weather sets in. Piglets need a great deal of attention you know?” He said as he looked at the four little snouts.
Sure enough just as Rosey had said, the sniffing and coughing stopped and the four pink little noses were resting. The elixir had done its job.
“Rosey’s nose always knows!” Rosey said with a big smile across her face. “I might have a nose just a tad longer than most with a wart on it to boot but this ole nose knows just what to do for folks. My mother taught me when I was just a young squirt myself.”
Rosey was right. Her long pointed nose knew exactly what herbs to use to drive away the cough and runny noses in folks and in animals.
Question: What was in the blanket and what is the correct way to blow your nose?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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