Every farmers nemesis is the tiny spikey black jack. Especially during winter when the veld is dry and the wind is blowing off the snow capped mountains. These little bastards find their way into your most secret folds, behind your knee, under your arm and as my son discovered this evening, into your nappy. Daniel first complained about a pain under his arm and after of searching I found the suspect deeply lodged into his jersey.
This took me back to my childhood in the Eastern Cape where everywhere you went you came out looking like a porcupine had sprouted on your legs. My mom even made us special ankle covers which were pulled over your boots to stop the black jacks getting into your socks. Luckily the black jack came off second best to a number of veld fires but it is a weed after all and it will always find away to grow back.
As I was putting Daniel to bed this evening I was changing his nappy and I was rather shocked to find a blackjack in his nappy, under his balls! My poor child, lucky it was a little one. This prompted a barrage of stories from the family about how much they hate black jacks and well agreed that the worst place to find one was in your pajamas! Can you imagine getting into bed after a long day and you snuggle down and as you just start getting comfy you feel this sharp pain in your rib cage! This means you have to uncover and pull all the covers off to find the little blitter, which of course let’s in the cold winter air. After you find the blackjack you do a pat down to make sure you have no more and get back into your bed to get comfy again.
This evening our low is around minus 8 degrees and I will be in no mood to be finding blackjacks in my jarmies and I hope that all the cold Free State farmers are blackjack free and are warm tonight!