Here is another of those rare slides that Horace Sykes has labeled. He names it “Jack Snipe.” The side has a soft focus, perhaps because these birds to not often pause for portraits, but are for ever poking into things with their long nose – “more sensitive than an elephant’s trunk” – 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 wantering through the woods with a flash light, a gunny sack, and two rocks. The light, it was claimed would get the attention of a Snipe. The repeated slapping of the rocks agains each other would pull them to the light like a magnet, and the snack was for nabbing them. It was another adolescent disappoints on the level of losing faith in the Burpaplenteous – the side chamber attached to the stomach into which food would be pushed with over eating or rushed there with eating too fast, and that thereby made one burp as a reflex – when this snipe hunt was explained to me to be a hoax. Still, I was then part of the knowing seniors who would inflict our own Snipe Hunt plans on troop novices. The reasonable part of all this is that Snipes are everywhere and we must watch out for them. Most likely Horace had plenty of Snipe opportunities and yet this is the onliy one that wound up in his slide collection. Perhaps it was the speed of their darting about that restrained him.

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