Dad’s tickling stick

Some of us oldies may remember Ken Dodd and his tickling stick (as well as his Diddymen).
kenWell, my Dad didn’t have a tickling stick, but he did have a couple of rather large feathers.

A builder by trade, he never really retired, and died at the age of 67.
I’ve already mentioned his success with horseradish, and he found a lot of relaxation and pleasure in his garden. This was a mass of overgrown grapevines (home made wine),  loganberry bushes (more wine), red and blackcurrants (home made pies, and of course wine), rhubarb (more pies and more wine), and a couple of small apple and pear trees (wine),  plus a makeshift greenhouse and 2 cloches for his melons and cucumbers.
The only flowers that grew in the back garden were from the various fruit and veg Dad was culturing. Mum had her rose bush, tulips and irises out front.

I visited them one day and Dad was outside in the garden whilst Mum was baking apple pie. She’d collared some that weren’t destined for the wine press and like me, would batch bake and freeze them down.
I heard Dad talking and not wishing to interrupt, waited patiently by the back door.
Mum asked what was wrong and when I told her Dad was in conversation, she said he was talking to his ‘bloody cucumbers’ and those ‘damn melons’. (My Mum very rarely swore, so obviously she was a bit peeved, probably having had to fight for her apples!)

Sure enough, there was Dad with his feather, tickling the melon plants and encouraging them to produce nice big fat fruit for his latest wine recipe.
melonsThen taking another feather, he gently caressed (yes, caressed) his cucumbers with similar words of endearment.
cucumberMy snort of laughter made him spin round in surprise and embarrassment at being caught in a comprising position with his plants.

He grinned sheepishly and said he thought that talking to them would make them happy to oblige him with some giant produce after his gentle feather tickling fertilisation.
There’s got to be a moral in that somewhere!


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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17 Responses to Dad’s tickling stick

  1. Pingback: Dad Tales 1 | pensitivity101

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  4. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:

    My Dad would have been 90 today.
    With Hubby working out in the garden with onion sets and now garlic, I have memories of Dad working away talking to, and tickling his melons and cucumbers.
    Happy Birthday Dad. We’ve lit a candle for you today and hope you and Mum are having a good old knees up. ❤

  5. blindzanygirl says:

    Lol Di

  6. This is a lovely story. I have heard that talking to plants helps them grow.

  7. Lovely! And well told—made me laugh!

  8. Gentle persuasion! Lovely post, even five years after the fact. You obviously loved your parents a great deal and how beautiful you got to visit “Eden’ when you went to see them! ❤

    • I miss them. It’s my Dad’s birthday on the 15th and he would’ve been 91 this year. Mum would have been 98 in May. Dad really got into the wine thing though. Rocket fuel some of it!

  9. Pingback: Feeling ticklish? | pensitivity101

  10. Liz says:


  11. kittysverses says:

    Enjoyed the re-count, Di. 🙂

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