The dandelion is a much maligned flower with incredible properties. My grandmother and the generations before her used the dandelion for healing. Many Native Americans and other enlightened folks still use the dandelion in this way. When I was five, my great Aunt Hazel was visiting. My mother drove Hazel and my grandmother to a nearby farm to buy the Sunday chicken. I stayed behind with my grandfather. The last thing I remember was playing in the creek. When I came to, I was on the couch, with the three women staring at me, whispering. Apparently, I had become violently ill very quickly. Upon their return, laying the now dead chicken to the side, Aunt Hazel went into action, instructing mom and Mamaw the weeds and roots to gather. Dandelion was the primary ingredient. She boiled the mess into a poultice she then spread on my chest. My symptoms suggested a venomous bite, though no marks were found, and no one ever knew exactly what happened to me. One thing is certain, however, Aunt Hazel’s dandelion poultice kept me from the hospital, or perhaps dying for all we know. I don’t mind the dandelions in my yard one bit. They’re beautiful, important flowers, and I’m very thankful for them.