Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Crab Apple Magick ........

 The Crab Apple trees were loaded with fruit this August, and now that so much has been harvested, bottled, potted or simply left to fall in great circular carpets under the trees, Muddypond Green decided the Malus was due a celebration .......
Malus John Downie - too many to harvest!
Photographed by my wood near Charing

  Do you know the little poem about the bad Crab-Apple Dwarfs written by Marion St. John Webb and illustrated one of our matchless fairy artists Margaret Tarrant?  Here it is ....

Bunching, Crunching and Mumberly-Hatch

Bunching, Crunching and Mumberly-Hatch
Old Crab-Apple Dwarfs would meet
Up in the tree-tops, or under the thatch,
Down in the garden, out on the street;
Whatever the time, wherever the place
It never concerned them, they were a disgrace.
Bunching, Crunching and Mumberly Hatch
Went shouting away in a breathless race.

'Bunching, Crunching and Mumberly Hatch' - illustration by Margaret Tarrant
from 'Wild Fruit Fairies' - 1925 (now pub Medici Society)

Bunching, Crunching and Mumberly-Hatch
Those Crab-Apple Dwarfs would boast
Each to each other, "I have no match!"
Gathering moonbeams or buttering toast,
Whichever it was, whatever the test,
Each boaster declared he outshone the rest.
Bunching, Crunching and Mumberly-Hatch
Each said that he voted himself the best.

Malus 'Golden Hornet'
photographed at 'Heronden' Gardens, Tenterden, Kent

Bunching, Crunching and Mumberly-Hatch
Three Crab-Apple Dwarfs, every day
Talking and arguing, ready to snatch
Each from the other the words he would say.
And now it's the custom throughout the land
To call any boaster in Fairyland,
"Bunching", or "Crunching", or  "Mumberly-Hatch",
And all boasters go silent as they understand.

Malus 'John Downie'
my magical crab apple tree - jewelled in the late August sunshine

   There are two lovely recipes using crab apples which you might like to try - 
'Plain Crab Apple Jelly'    and    'Potted Crab Apple, Red Chili and Garlic Fruit Cheese'.

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