© 2018 Barbara Grace Lake


Just give me a minute I’ll tell you a tale
About the first time I went hunting for snipes
Yes truly the first and a final time, too
Because as experience, once is enough

It started one day when a good friend of mine
Declared he was homesick and tired of town noise
I’m missing my folks and I’m missing my trees
I’m missing the carefree existence I knew

He asked me to come, he said plenty of room
We’ll have lots of fun and my family you’ll love
So city girl started out rucksack in tow
To weekend with people that she’d never known

We drove and we drove along twisted dirt roads
Not mentioning that they seemed awesomely steep
And hugging the rim of a sheer mountain side
We finally got to my friend’s family home

The first thing I saw were some rickety stairs
That led to a ramshackle two-story house
Its porch was lop-sided, the eave cover sagged
The yard held an outhouse. That’s all that they had

Our cleansing off travel took turns at the sink
They had running water, piped in from a spring
To use making coffee or boiling potatoes
For cooking they fired up the wood in the stove

They did have electric, a line from below
For once-a-week use of their washing machine
But other than that kerosene lamps were there
But what after dark could the folks do for fun

It’s time to get clean, we can have us a war
Just don’t douse the stove or we’ll never be fed
They’re talking of water, I covered my head
Then tossed a big pitcher full out through the door

I’m sorry to say that the brothers played rough
As poured through the window a washtub of stuff
I’m drenched and I’m drowned, and I’m sputtering mad
But helpless with laughter when sweeping the floor

The very next night eldest brother declared
We need some fresh meat, we’ll go hunting for snipes
You only can hunt them at night I was told
You game? I was asked so I choked and said yes

We’ll go up the hill and then chase the snipes down
They’re frightened of us so they’ll run right to you
Just usher them in to your sack and we’ll have
Some savory snipes for our dinner tonight

And there I stood trustingly sack in my hand
Beguiled or befuddled by innocent youth
Quite possibly duped into stretching the truth
No snipe would I catch for they do not exist

The next day we left on the roads going home
With baskets of food to consume on the way
But lest a kind person thinks I was misused
Rest easy, this girl had the time of her life