Gather round ye children...

posted Oct 11, 2013, 8:56 AM by Paul Wagner

One of the better backpacking on-line communities currently has a charming discussion of the best techniques for a snipe hunt.  We first learned about snipe hunting as young children, when we were equipped with pillow cases and instructed to stand quietly (and expectantly!) out in the woods while our elders promised to drive the snipe towards us. 

Being relatively skeptical kids, it didn’t take us long to figure that one out---but we’ve heard of children who spent more than an hour waiting for a scurrying snipe.  And we’ve also heard tales of the snipe hunters returning to camp with appropriately vengeful attitudes and reactions towards those who sent them on their errand. 
Be careful what you wish for. 

And that got us to thinking about some of the other current versions of legends of the West—or at least of the outdoors. 

A dear friend of ours tells a wonderful tale of his days as a very cocky older Boy Scout at a big Jamboree.  His scout-leader father decided that his attitude needed an adjustment, and when our friend complained about the smoke from the campfire, his father suggested that he ask a nearby group of scouts to borrow their smoke deflector.  They didn’t have one, but they sent him on to the next campsite, and he made it through the whole campground before the truth dawned on him.  File:Jackalope 101.jpg
And yes, he was a bit subdued after that.
As we continue to restore and decorate our cabin, we were charmed to find that a  relatively local (Murphy’s, CA) store is stocking full-size stuffed jackalopes.  We hadn’t seen a jackalope in some years, and it’s good to know that they are still being stuffed and sold these days. 
No, we didn't buy one.
We hope that you are enjoying these cooler, shorter days.  And that you have a few fairy tales related to camping, hiking, and the West. 
If you do, we’d love to hear them.
You can thank Wikipedia for the photos in this post...