Got a small rash on my arm a couple of weeks ago---small enough that at first I thought it was a collection of bug bites from an army of very industrious, very tiny, very evil little bugs. But as a week went by and it was still sore and itchy, it reminded me of poison ivy, and so I think it was.
The odd thing was, I hadn't gone into the weeds or woods. I couldn't figure out where I might have been exposed. But judging by the pattern of the rash, I wondered if the dog had gotten some on his paw and then thoughtfully wiped it off on me. It was in the shape of his paw pads. Well, he didn't seem to be in any discomfort---although I know dogs sometimes try to hide it when they don't feel well, our dog seems to be inclined to let us know what he's feeling, all the time.
Normally I am very careful around nature. She's a shifty one, always whipping out some nasty trick. It pays to be cautious. I have a sensitivity to yellow jacket venom that has not gotten less with more exposure (thanks, little guys! Thanks so much!). And of course I know the old rhyme: Leaves of three, let them be, which neatly describes poison ivy, poison oak, and about a billion other plants that are not poisonous at all.
What is not well-known is that that line is just one of a much longer folk poem:
Leaves of one, ain't much fun
Leaves of two, whoop de doo
Leaves of three, let them be
Leaves of four, shut the door
Leaves of five, shuck and jive
Leaves of six, pick up sticks
Leaves of seven, smoke to heaven
Leaves of eight, put on weight
Leaves of nine, also fine
Leaves of ten, start again
Leaves of thirteen, burnin' & hurtin'
Leaves of thirty-two, smell like glue
Leaves of thirty-three, gotta go & pee
Leaves of fifty, ain't too nifty
Leaves of seventy, way too heavty....
All right, that's enough. That was even more stupid than I thought it would be.