Snipe Hunting in the Blue Ridge

To hunt for snipe requires
A pirate’s cunning
And a child’s willful suspension
Of disbelief.
No adults need apply.
One whiff of them,
The creature slinks away,
Crinkling his snout
And hoisting his tail
In undisguised disdain.
Nor is snipe hunting for the faint of heart.
It’s best done on an autumn night
When the oversized moon
Makes mountain boulders seem
Like alien forms of life
And windswept limbs reach out
To draw you deeper in the forest
Than you really ought to go.

Since you appear to be
A plucky little lad,
I’ll furnish you
With everything you need:
A chunk of moldy cheese,
Reliable flashlight,
Ten feet of rope
And a sturdy canvas sack.
The trick is to meet him
Rodent to rodent,
Crouched on all fours
As he enters the trap.
You yank hard on the rope,
Voila, he’s yours.

Any questions?
What’s he look like?
I can only guess.
A cross between a squirrel,
Weasel, chipmunk,
And badly fitting toupee.
There’s none in captivity
And the testimony of six year olds
As we all know
Can be highly suspect.
You’ll recognize him
By his scent, though,
Worse than Uncle Joe’s limburger
And his dog’s most pungent farts
Still care to go, my friend?
Or would you prefer
To spend this evening by the fire
Toasting s’mores?

(originally published in Big River Poetry Review)



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