Once upon a time, a fine, sturdy, medicine woman went on a journey across the big lake. She found herself in a strange land with many new and wonderful sights and sounds. She learned about the local plants and animals, and enjoyed many new pleasures, but she still missed some things from home…mainly raspberries.
One day, when she was walking through the forest, she saw a beautiful bush with gloriously plump, red berries. She examined it, and they looked like raspberries, and smelled like raspberries. She looked at the shape and textures of the leaves, and they were the same as raspberry leaves. Overjoyed, she began to pick the berries and put them in her basket.
Some of the local women were walking by, and looked on with horror. “Stop!” they cried. The medicine woman turned, startled, with a mouth full of berries. One of the more sassy, two-spirits walked right up to her and smacked her soundly on the back to spit out the berries, simultaneously fingering her mouth to make sure she vomited any she had already swallowed.
“What the hell?” the pissed off medicine woman asked? Shaking her still mashed berry covered finger, the two-spirit scolded,
“Those are shit berries. You don’t eat those unless you are very constipated. Even then, you certainly don’t eat them by the mouthful. Just one or two at a time. They will give you the most fierce diarrhea you’ve ever had.”
The medicine woman scoffed. “These are raspberries. We eat them all the time where I’m from, with no ill effects.” So the two-spirit said, “Fine…maybe you have some kind of immunity to these that we don’t. Go on, pick your berries. I apologize for interrupting. We were just worried you were about to do something really dumb and dangerous.”
So the medicine woman picked her berries, and the local women let her. She went home, and baked a beautiful pie from these berries. It looked and smelled delicious. She ate one piece, and missing raspberries so much, she couldn’t help herself, and ate the whole pie. For a few minutes, she was in heaven…the sweet berry juice spattered around her mouth, and dripping between her hearty breasts. She fell into a very deep, blissful sleep.
Then suddenly she awakened with a pain as if someone had kicked her in the guts from the inside. It was worse than labor pains. She ran to the bathroom, and an epic battle raged in her intestines, punctuated by what seemed like shrapnel filled cannon blasts exploding from her anus.
After some hours, there was finally peace, but for the next three days, she had shorter, but still very painful skirmishes between her very sore butt cheeks.
Once she was able to walk outside again, the local women saw her, and the two-spirit asked her, “How was the pie?”
“It was great! I did get some diarrhea though.” The locals laughed.
“We told you, those are shit berries.”
“No, maybe this is because it has been so long since I’ve made a raspberry pie that I overdid the spices. I’ll try again.”
“I am telling you, it’s the berries…”
“No, it can’t be. I ate these all the time back in my homeland.”
“But you are in a different place now.”
“No no, I’ll try again.”
And again, she picked berries, and again, she made a pie…and again, she got horrible diarrhea.
Again, she encountered the local ladies, and again, the two-spirit scolded her, and again, she decided to try again.
By now, the two-spirit understood that raspberries meant a lot to the medicine woman, so when the medicine woman tried in their turn, 100 ways to cook and eat these berries that maybe might work, shhe let the medicine woman try, but rightfully never gave her medicine to cure her diarrhea.
Eventually, stubbornness gave way to the butt hurt, and the medicine woman finally realized that the two-spirit was right. These are shitberries. No matter how they looked and how good they smelled or tasted, these berries would give her the shits.
So humbled, she asked the two-spirit what to do. She missed raspberries so much. So the two-spirit taught her how to make shitberry incense.
The moral of this story is listen to the locals. If the local women don’t put up with something, or don’t give someone the time of day, no matter how good they look or what you’re used to, it is probably a shitberry. Smell, and maybe even taste, but don’t swallow because it is probably full of shit.