Dear Future Melinda,
It's not your fault you aren't very knowledgeable about the different plants and wildlife in your new neighborhood. You really haven't lived here that long so I think it's understandable that you're still in the learning stage of your new environment. There are just some things that you will see here "in the country" that you won't see in many other places. For the most part, it's really not a problem.
One day you will go to school with a boy named S.D. He will end up living a road or two over from you. He's going to be fun to hang out with and just an all-around nice guy. He's got a four-wheeler, which you have never been on one, but will get to try out. He will ride it over to your house and you guys will hang out some days. But take note, he's going to pick up on the fact that you have no clue about living in the country nor do you know much the flora and fauna of these parts.
He will tell you that you can eat a Cattail and that it is safe to do so. Being that you are you, you will have no clue what a Cattail is. He points it out as the plant growing along the ditches on your dirt road. Your stupid self is going to believe him. You really should know better than this. I mean look at it! It looks like nothing you should be eating, but he has never given you reason to think he would try and poison you. Or worse, kill you. So, you are going to pluck a giant one right up, straight from the disgusting ditch, and take a bite out of it.
Well, you idiot, how does it feel to have a mouth full of cattail fluff? Like having a mouth full of moisture absorbing cotton, right? It went from this stalk looking thing to having a mouth full of something that could be the liner in a ski jacket! Never trust him again Melinda!
P.S - I did find out later in life that you can indeed eat parts of a cattail plant, and it is pretty popular, especially in learning and understanding survival in nature. I have never tried to eat one the "right way," nor do I have the desire to at this point, but kudos to all those creative and brave enough to try it 😊