Narrow-leafed or English plaintains are considered weeds by most people, but for little boys they can be a lot of fun. One day a dear friend of ours, Ms Pat came over and saw some of them growing in our yard and she taught the boys how to make them into shooters. To make one, pick a stem with a flower at the top. They might not look much like flowers, but more like a tiny space station on top of a tower. The flowers that shoot the best are the ones that are starting to turn brown.
Bend the stem into a "J" shape, with the flower where the "J" bends up. Take the stem end and fold it back around the flower head, just under it and make a loop around it. Hold onto the stem with one hand below the flower and the other at the edge of the loop. Now, slide the loop down and press it up hard against the flower. Off shoots the flower head! What fun!
First Published May 9, 2010