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Buy poppy heads

My parents, my cousin and I were taking a walk after a good meal during our Sunday picnic. We were surprised of the flowers we found in our way, they looked really beautiful! They had all colors and looked like we were walking through a royal European garden like the ones I have seen in movies; it was a nature’s unexpected gift. The flowers varied in color, from pure white to reddish purple.

My father explained to us that there are two types of poppies mainly. The ones that do not have opium and the one that do, usually this flower is scarlet red. Most poppy heads are of a pale green when young. As they mature and ripen they change to a brightly yellowish brown, and then are cut from the stem if the dried poppy heads are required.

“Do drug dealers sow the red ones?” asked my cousin.

“That is right” my father answered and continued his explanation on poppies. He said that opium is extracted from poppy heads…

“Do drug addicts buy poppy heads?” interrupted my even more intrigued cousin.

“What is wrong? I am telling you just the beginning! Let me explain the natural side of the story” my dad said and continued: “just before they have ripened and the petals have fallen from poppy flowers, incisions are then made in the “wall” of the unripe capsules. The exuded juice, a white milky juice, partially dried, is collected by scraping.” And he took a long breath before continuing. “The poppies of pale color are the most desired, but a heavy rain, or even a few nights of heavy dew, may spoil their color. Remember that high winds and heavy rains will cause the poppy destruction” he finished. This time my cousin asked nothing, he looked satisfied with my father’s explanation about the poppy flower. He smiled to himself and asked my father: “What if I buy poppy heads?” my father answered following the joke: “Just be careful that your poppy heads do not come from the red poppies!”

“I am not going to buy poppy heads, no matter where they come from, just to be sure” said my cousin trying to make a good impression on my father.

“It all depends on the point of view; the key is how you use them and which kind of poppy you have; if you have the right ones, I mean the legal ones, you will be in good hands; if you get the flu, your mother can make you some poppy tea, it really works” said my father.

While my parents were picking the garbage up, my cousin said to me “I do not understand why people buy poppy heads, you know what I mean, the drug addicts.”