In Pennsylvania the Jacob G. Heims had a great deal of fruit - apples, grapes, peaches, pears, plums and sweet and sour cherries. They were all very fond of fruit of all kinds. One day when the sweet cherries were ripening, Rebecca, my mother, went to see if any ripe ones were within reach. The grass there was rather tall and someone had left an axe leaning against one of the trees. She didn't see it and in walking around looking up into the tree her bare foot came down across the sharp edge in such a way as to almost cut off the last two toes of her left foot. Now what was she to do? It was bleeding so badly she had to get to the house, but she didn't want anyone to know about it for fear she would be scolded. Why she thought she would be scolded for such an accident is hard to understand but such was her thought.
She walked slowly along on the heel of her foot, now and then looking to see if the piece was still fast. She came to where Sam was sitting on the rail fence. He noticed she was acting different than usual and asked in a big brother style, "What's matter with you?" She, not wanting him to know said, "Nothing." When she got to the house she sat on the steps, still not knowing what to do and still wanting no one to know it, but it just kept bleeding. Finally, someone came along and found her there when she was beginning to feel rather faint and a sizable pool of blood had formed. Of course, Grandma was called at once.
She didn't know what should be done about it and thought they should send some one for Dr. Lyons who lived across the Loyalsock Creek from them and have him sew the piece on again. At this proposal Rebecca set up extreme protest. No, she would not have the doctor sew it up. She wanted her mother to put it together. Her objection to the doctor was so great that her mother did as best she cold with Hartshorn and a cloth bandage though it was hard to keep the piece in proper position.
It healed nicely, no infection of any kind, though there was quite a scar and the bones would slip past each other and gave her pain in later life. It was also a place for corns. She told many years later why she had objected to having the doctor. In her mind for him to sew it up meant he would put hooks and eyes on it, and this she would not have. She often remarked that she supposed it would have been better if those toes had been removed the rest of the way but at the time it was not to be thought of.
(This story and many, many other can be read in the "Folklore of the Pennsylvania Colony of Nebraska) book for sale in the "for sale" section of this web site. The book was compilied and edited by Elma Heim Griffiths in 1955)