Tag Archives: Snipe hunt

Snipe

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As an older Boy Scout I thought that a Snipe was an imaginary creature which younger scouts were sent to hunt in the Snipe Hunt hoax.  As a younger Scout myself, I never found a Snipe, whatever a Snipe was.  It was not until I was about 35 year old that I learned that a snipe was a real creature, a fairly small water bird with long legs and beak.  It spends its time meandering the irrigation ditch along Rabbit Lane, rising with indignant “peeps” as I trudge by on my walks.  I also learned that the Snipe was responsible for the eerie, haunting reverberating sounds I heard hovering like a fog over the fields at night.  Harvey told me to look up high for the source of the sounds: a Snipe, a brown speck in the high sky, diving and allowing the air to thunder through its wings.  I wrote this poem about this mysterious little creature.

SNIPE

Summer sun settles on high mountain peaks,
igniting heavy cumulus over a burning great salt lake.
A ghostly echo begins to move,
invisible, taunting,
low over twilight’s deep green fields
of pasture grass and alfalfa hay;
a lonely laughter
approaching then receding,
soaring then plummeting,
tumbling, veering,
in sunset’s golden glint,
in late night’s moon-glow,
to vanish at the new sun’s rising—
seen only by those who know whence comes
the haunting, moving echo of the snipe in the evening sky.