Our Daily Sykes #416 – Sykes Only Snipe & Our Burpaplenteous

Here is another of those rare slides that Horace Sykes has labeled. He names it "Jack Snipe." The slide has a soft focus, perhaps because these birds do not often pause for portraits, but are for ever poking into things with their long noses - "more sensitive than an elephant's trunk" - most often into grass and ground covers of all sorts. I remember the snipe well - from Boy Scouts. It was a lingering threat, in that factory of hormone stuffed adolescents, that one would be taken some night on a "snipe hunt." This involved wandering through the woods with a flash light, a gunny sack, and two rocks. The light, it was claimed would get the attention of the snipe. The repeated slapping of the rocks against each other would pull them to the light like a magnet, and the sack was for nabbing them. It was never explained how one could slap rocks while holding a flash light and a sack, and there was no thought at all about what one would do with a Snipe once it was had. It was another adolescent disappointment on the level of losing faith in the Burpaplenteous* - the side chamber attached to the stomach into which food will be pushed with over eating or rushed there with eating too fast, and that thereby makes one burp thru a reflex - when this snipe hunt was explained to me to be a hoax. Still, I was then part of the knowing seniors who could, in turn, inflict our own Snipe Hunt plans - for them - on troop novices. (The reasonable part of all this is that Snipes are everywhere and we must watch out for them. I have kept a sack of some sort and flash light in my trunk since I owned my first car, a Nash Rambler for which I paid $50. But the price of fuel was greater than I expected, for this rambler could not take left turns and so getting to a destination meant making some very big loops and always to the right.) Most likely Horace had plenty of Snipe opportunities and yet this is the only one that wound up in his slide collection. Perhaps it was the speed of their darting about that restrained him. * To my potential - only - considerable embarrassment I learned that there was no Burpaplentious when I offered before the entire General Science class at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane my answer to the teacher's question - to the class - "Why do we burp?" After giving my brief explanation about the novel organ attached to the stomach, he laughed and answered "Good joke." The class was then free to also erupt with laughter. Fortunately, I caught on instantly. My oldest brother Ted, then in Medical School, had made it up. I, however, did not let on, but rather took my teacher's - a Mr. Mickelson, I believe - compliment as earned and laughed along with them all. This seems to me a good lesson in living or life, which ever lasts the longest. (I am not sure of the proper spelling for "Burpaplenteous.")


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