Last week we had a “what if” and after dinner coffee blog and I thought it was time to go back to Dark Corner this week for a visit. We have talked about Grandma Lillie, some of my favorite horses, red dirt and snow boots to name a few in past posts. I have lots more stories like those and I don’t know exactly what brought this subject to mind, however it might have been the sounds of the frogs in the night air that prompted the memory. So hang on I am going to take you on a snipe hunt with me this time!
In Dark Corner, snipe hunting was (I am not sure if it still is) a long standing rite of passage for younger children. I remember my older brother and cousins talking secretively about catching snipes and how much fun it was to go on a hunt. I always pleaded with them to tell me more and take me with them, but the answer was always the same. You are too young to go snipe hunting and it’s for boys anyway. I don’t know what incensed me more when I heard that excuse – being too young or the fact that I could not go snipe hunting because I was a girl. Honestly, I was a tomboy not just a girl! Life was totally unfair to me at that point in time.
One day after years of whining and cajoling, my brother said guess what, we are going to let you go snipe hunting with us! I was ecstatic! It was an activity that I knew nothing about, I did not know what a snipe was and for sure I did not know how to catch one. Nonetheless, I was totally psyched about the opportunity.
Once I was granted access to this secret society, I constantly asked when we are going snipe hunting. I am not sure if I was patient or they just got tired of my persistence, but the big day finally came! So how do you prepare for a snipe hunt? Well let me tell you! Snipe hunting is conducted only at night and usually on a moonless one. The only item you need to catch a snipe is a brown paper grocery bag. Beware, if you are afraid of the dark or things that go bump in the night, this activity is horrifying!
On the big night, my brother escorted me and my brown paper bag of course to a spot in a field away from all civilization. He had a flashlight, but I did not because light scares the snipes. So, I was told to lay on the ground with the bag open in front of me and quietly call, “here snipe-snipe, here snipe-snipe” until the mysterious snipe jumps into the bag. On the way to the spot, I did ask again what exactly a snipe was and was told it was a birdlike creature. Well, now that conjured up some visions! Big bird, big beak, mean, etc.? However, I was not about to show any fear.
So there I was alone in a field with a paper bag calling for a furtive creature. For a few minutes that seemed like hours I called for the snipes. Eventually, the night sounds and slithering things on the ground unnerved me a bit. I stood up and called out to my brother repeatedly with no answer. Finally, a bit of panic must have entered my voice because I heard faint giggles in the distance.
Then it all made sense and I knew I was the victim of a long standing prank! I was humiliated. As I stomped my way back home I realized that the whole idea made very little sense. What kind of a bird or birdlike creature just comes running when you call it and hops into a bag in the dark? None of them as it turns out and the whole idea was just a joke for older kids to play on younger ones. Seems a bit of cruel joke right? Maybe. Did I take my younger brother or cousins on a snipe hunt? What do you think?
That’s it for this time and here’s hoping you don’t get taken on a snipe hunt! Remember if the idea sounds a bit like a snipe hunt, then it probably is so beware!