The Nest Robbers


I remember how I learned it from my dad. The grass was dripping with dew, and the quiet bubble of mid-Summer rested heavily upon the blooming alfalfa.

My dad had found a white ceramic bowl with chipped edges in the cupboard. He said if we could fill the bowl, we’d have a meal for our family.

We walked to the edge of our garden and beneath green, moist foliage found the morning’s bounty. We worked from the outside edges of the nests, taking out some, careful not to disturb the others.

When the bowl was full, we took them to the outside spigot to wash them before giving them to Mom for cooking.

“These will be the best you’ve ever tasted,” Dad smiled.

“These are nice,” Mom commented as she took the bowl that my dad let me proudly carry inside, “and you have them so clean.”

They were boiled and served with butter, salt, and pepper. The taste reminded me of the very land I walked upon every day. They were white and the red skins so sweet. I was forever hooked on the sport of robbing new potatoes from their “nests” and enjoying them for dinner.

—By Gene Stark of Glenwood, MN


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