Friday, May 30, 2014

The Tiny Owl Saga Begins

A couple of months ago a crafty friend of mine from high school posted this pattern on facebook. She knits, so she asked her crocheting friends to try it out. I was in the middle of a Bag the Bag project, so I figured I’d take a break for a few hours and check it out.
The pattern is by Sarah of the Repeat Crafter Me blog, where she shares crafts, crochet patterns, and crock pot recipes. (If you’re not into granny squares, she’s also got some adorable patterns for owl hats!)
They work up pretty quick when you get going, and they’re super cute.
My first tiny owl!

A Tiny Owl Banner by Sarah of Repeat Crafter Me
If you’re like me and don’t enjoy sitting around stitching things to other things in order to finish your project, I don’t recommend this one. You have to make the eyes, sew buttons to the eyes (thank goodness for my stash of Great Grandma’s leftover shirt buttons!), sew the finished eyes to the owl, and then add feet and beak to each one. Then you have to figure out how to put them together. (There is a reason that the example shows them made into a banner: by the time you’re done with all the extra attaching and sewing, you’re too tired to do anything else!)
My idea is to eventually incorporate them all into a blanket, but I’m not looking forward to stitching them all together. My brilliant mother-in-law said, “Well, you know, you don’t have to put them right next to each other… you could always put a stripe in between.” OF COURSE I COULD, BRILLIANT MOTHER-IN-LAW!
And thus, the tiny owl saga begins.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday in History: Northwest Passability

It's kind of a pain to sail all the way around the world. At least, that's how Europeans felt several centuries ago. If you wanted spices from the Indies, you had to sail around Africa or all the way across the Atlantic and then all the way around South America. It was a pain.
So the madness surrounding a search for the Northwest Passage is understandable. "Wouldn't it be nice," thought Henry VII in 1497 and Charles V in 1524 and Christian IV in 1619, "if there were a shorter route to the other side of this troublesome continent? Surely someone can find a way through."
Someone didn't, at least until the early 1900s. The failure of past expeditions had to do with their big, heavy ships and their large crews (which meant many mouths to feed). Roald Amundsen set sail from Norway in 1903 with a crew of six in a shallow herring boat. Though they were iced in at King William Island for two years, they used the time to learn from the Inuit and eventually completed their journey across the waters of the continent in 1906. Amundsen and his fishing boat and his handful of men had done it! A sea passage had definitely been found, and though their light boat had been able to skim through the (sometimes) three foot deep water, it was still not a good route for commercial vessels.
The RCMP St. Roch in 1944
photo by Major J.S. Matthews
(via City of Vancouver Archives)
It wasn't until the 1940s that a big, heavy ship got through the Northwest Passage. The St. Roch is a schooner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and though it took over a year to get there, they made it. They broke their own record two years later by zooming from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia in eighty-six days.
And on this day in history in 1950, the St. Roch arrived victorious in Halifax from a journey that not only took it across the Northwest Passage but also through the Panama canal: it became the first ship to circumnavigate North America.
Considering the treacherous ice and the probability of one's crew starving to death, I'm not sure the search for the Northwest Passage was worth it. Since it wasn't successfully traversed by water until the twentieth century anyway, those European monarchs may have been wiser to wait for the invention of air travel.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Writing Prompt: A Sequence of Events

Writing Prompt #419
He was walking down the street minding his own business. He didn’t know that several events were, at that very moment, plotting against him, planning an assault on his otherwise peaceful day.
Although they seemed to leap out at him all at once, they did not attack at exactly the same moment. There was an sequence, one happening after the other, but so quickly that for a long time he couldn’t pin down what had happened first. In fact, it was the SUV.
A large European luxury SUV came roaring up the narrow, quiet street in a hurry. This caused him to leap over to the side of the road to preserve his life.
Next was the screeching, giggling pack of schoolchildren that witnessed his escape from death. He’d never liked schoolchildren, even when he was one. He always felt that they were making fun of him. This pack was, and that knowledge annoyed him even more than his next discovery.
He had kept his life, but at the expense of a shoe: he’d put his foot in the gutter in his adventure with the SUV.
It was the final event that caused him to recall this sequence of happenings with fond remembrance instead of avoiding thinking of it at all, and it was: “Sir, are you all right?”
She was the most beautiful creature he’d ever laid eyes on. He looked from her face to her hand, which she was holding out to aid him. His eyes next found the newspaper he had crumpled to unreadability in the previous moments. He dropped it absently and reached out for her.
As they walked together away from the eventful scene, he reflected that the SUV that had almost run him off the road was the nicest model out, and the shoe he had lost, though expensive, had been very uncomfortable, and that the important thoughts he had been thinking before his adventure(s) were not so important after all.
His reflections on the schoolchildren, however, who gigglingly followed them down the street for rather longer than he would have liked, did not alter for many years. It took their having several of their own to change his mind.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Back to Normal?

Ahh. Time to get back to normal after a busy weekend.
But “normal” isn’t the same for everyone. For me, it’s an organized mess. A disorganized mess is intolerable. If it’s messy, but I can find everything, I’m good. If there are boxes of old baby clothes next to my desk and I don’t know where the air mattress is, I’ll go crazy.
Among many other things that happened this weekend, all of the furniture in the two most furniture-laden rooms in our house had to be moved so that the floors could be refinished. The results vary depending on how you look at it: if you’re into gorgeous hardwood floors, then you’d say that the work was a success, while if you’re one of those people who is into meticulously clean households, you’d shake your head in disappointment.
The floors do look great. And eventually I’ll find everything and put it in a place that I can find it again. But for now, I think I’ll relax.
Maybe I’ll look for the air mattress later.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May the Fourth Bag Be With You... FOREVER

It was fun to watch this thing grow. It got so tall so fast!

Every time I make one of these, I do the handles a little differently. This time, I started the handles from the very beginning (just like the last one), but instead of starting them at the vertical edge, I started them on the bottom of the bag, to give it a little bit of extra stability. The thing I didn’t do was make the handles on the inside and out. I just did them on the outside. I figured that would be enough, and then of course changed my mind when I got near the end. 
The inside-out bag, after I'd started working on the "inside" handles
Having to worry about finishing the handles is the worst part about making a bag like this, but I definitely think that this was the best way so far. I always drag my feet when finishing the handles, but the coolest part about that this time?
I finished the bag on May 4th.

4th Count: THE END (143 1/2 bags!)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday in History: Viva

On this day in history in 1905 there was an auction. A railroad company sold 110 acres of land along the Mormon Corridor in the Mojave desert.
Today, those 110 acres have been expanded to over 135 square miles, and the little railroad town has become the 30th most populated city in the United States. It is a major spot for business conventions and tourists from everywhere on earth, and is "the entertainment capital of the world."
Happy birthday, Sin City! Viva Las Vegas!
The Strip in 2007, picture by Matthew Field (via wikipedia)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Writing Prompt: A Ride Home

First, some background before we get to the writing prompt. 
You can buy this amazing piece of art
on Karen's RedBubble.
I was inspired this morning by some beautiful illustrations I found on (where I usually get my writing prompts) by artist Karin Hallion, which each featured a Disney princess from a scene in her movie. Included in all the pictures was a tall blue box, sometimes with its door ajar, and a hand reaching out, beckoning. I was especially inpsired by the image of Belle, standing alone in a field by her home. (Mostly because it was the title of the piece,) I could imagine she had just sung out her private yearning for adventure when a strange noise interrupted her and a man wearing a suit and tie and Chuck Taylors on his feet stuck his head out and said, “Did someone say ‘adventure’?”
But the problem with the inventor’s daughter hopping in the TARDIS and leaving her poor provincial town is that it completely ruins her story. She doesn’t go to a spooky castle full of enchanted objects and fall in love with a Beast who turns out to be a prince. (Sorry if that was a spoiler, Beauty and the Beast has been around forever; the first version was published in 1740, so not knowing what happens in the end is like not knowing how Little Red Riding Hood turns out.) (Anyway.) What we in the fan fiction world refer to as canon (or, what really happens in the story) is very important. Without what really happened, the characters would be different. They wouldn’t learn the same lessons or react the same way to things if their experiences were not exactly (or very nearly) the same.
The result of my wonderful beginning was that I couldn’t decide what would happen next. Because of course Belle would go, because of course she wouldn’t be able to resist the call of adventure from the great wide somewhere. But any adventure they went on would mess up her own timeline. She’d miss Phillipe, her father would die of cold in the castle tower, and the Beast and his household would never be human again.
So I looked at the other pictures. I imagined Ariel joining a man in a bow tie who had “reversed the polarity” of his swimming pool to fill the console room with water, and how strange he would look with a fez perched on top of an antique brass diving helmet. I imagined a man in a leather jacket offering his hand to an Arabian princess and saying, “I can show you the universe… come on. Do you trust me?” And I imagined Rapunzel, watching the lanterns float into the sky as she sat in the doorway with her feet dangling off the edge, informing a frizzy haired man that she liked his scarf.
But none of these ideas, no matter how wonderful they were, let the stories of these princesses go on as they were after they were returned safely to them. Ariel would forget about Eric and bore people with details about the lost underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Jasmine would ignore Aladdin when he showed up on his flying carpet to fly her through the clouds; who needs clouds when you’ve already drifted through the stars? And how are Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder supposed to get together if she’s already achieved her dream?
The only one that really left the story intact was the one I chose to write about. So without further ado, I present my Doctor Who/Cinderella crossover, A Ride Home.

The clock struck midnight and her carriage was nowhere to be seen. She fled down the steps away from the Prince; she was determined that he would not see her transformation back to poverty.
Come Away With Me by Karen Hallion
And then, there it was. She was sure it hadn't been there a moment ago. A man stood in front of it, smiling. He gave a bow and held out his hand. "My dear," he said gallantly, "might I offer you a ride?"
"My carriage...!" she protested, as the clock chimed its last.
"It should be able to find its own way," he replied, and whisked her inside, shutting the door behind her beautiful skirt.
It was the largest carriage she had ever seen. Her eyes stretched toward the ceiling but could not reach it. There didn't seem to be any seating, but the man walked forward to a table in the middle of the room and started busying himself there. He turned his back on her, and she was grateful. Any moment her dress would again become the pink affair that her stepsisters had ripped to shreds earlier that evening and her beautiful night with the Prince would exist only in her memory.
She closed her eyes and sighed. At least she had been able to avoid the sight of the Prince. The thought of him pierced her heart. She would never be able to see him again.
A tear slid down her cheek and she wiped it away with a gloved hand before her rescuer could notice it. Then she opened her eyes and looked down at the gloves on her hands. They were the same as those that held the arm of the Prince while they strolled together on the terrace. Even more amazing was the gown she still wore, the same as she had swirled happily in while dancing with the Prince at the ball. And her shoes! A quick examination of her feet showed that she was not quite in full possession of her godmother's gift of footwear. One of the glass slippers glistened at her toes, while the other seemed to have disappeared.
She looked up to find her rescuer watching her with a rather amused look on his face.
"I... don't understand," she confessed.
He chuckled. "I'm not sure it would be worthwhile to  explain," he replied.
"How can this be?" she wondered aloud. "At midnight... it was supposed to end at midnight!"
"Suppose it isn't midnight quite yet," he suggested.
"But I heard the clock strike!"
Her rescuer merely shrugged and smiled.
A new idea entered her head. "Earlier this evening I met my fairy godmother," she said slowly. "Could you perhaps be my fairy godfather?"
Laughing as he pulled a lever, her rescuer turned and held his hand out to her once more. "My dear," he said, escorting her to the door, "That's exactly what I am."
Cinderella stepped out of her godfather's carriage and into the garden where she had seen mice become horses and a pumpkin become her means of getting to the ball.
She turned back to her fairy godfather, who was standing in the door of his strange blue carriage, his hands on the lapels of his suit jacket. "Thank you, Fairy Godfather."
"You're welcome, my dear," he replied, bowing again. "Oh, and by the way," he added, turning back to her, "I would keep that last slipper safe if I were you."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chewbacca for Legislature, 2014

This weekend, I sat down in a chair in my parents' living room and grabbed a bit of newspaper off the side table. My mother is one of the remaining hundred or so people in the world who still subscribes. (Or, in the words of Liz Lemon, "Suck it, I do read the paper!")
The section in question happened to be a very interesting Voter's Guide 2014, in which candidates for today's primary had been invited to contribute. I immersed myself in it, and soon was arguing aloud with the answers some had given. 
"You didn't fully answer the question, sweetcheeks," I said to the picture of the distinguished gentleman hoping to serve our great state. My husband, the only other person in the room, knows my strange ways and so ignored me, dividing his attention between his phone and The Empire Strikes Back, which my father had placed in the DVD player as a special Mother's Day treat.
My brother then entered the room with a plateful of pizza and attempted a spirited impression of Captain Solo's furry sidekick. At the same moment, I finished reading a candidate's answer, one which I disagreed with. "No," I said loudly to the newspaper, as I shook my head. "No."
Glancing at me, my brother tried again, this time actually saying something in Wookie (I don't speak it, though, so I'm not sure what it was). My husband took pity on him and informed him that I was arguing with my reading material. My brother laughed and said he knew, but figured he should give the impression another shot anyway.
I took the Voter's Guide home when the movie was over, to argue one-sidedly with the candidates and decide which to vote for. I suppose it could be said that I should have been doing my own research into the people I hope to trust to run the government, but I would answer that a candidate who doesn't have enough time to answer five questions for the Lincoln Journal Star may have trouble prioritizing their time when in office. (Seriously? It's five questions about stuff you already talk about all the time.)
Don't forget to vote today, Nebraska. I don't know about you, but the thing that will be making me giggle when I head over to vote tonight (aside from the memory of my brother's excellent Chewbacca impersonation) is the fact that I may have referred to a future governor of Nebraska as "sweetcheeks."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Weather Translators

Last night I sat on the couch watching various local channels track the storm that was heading across the state. I don’t normally watch the news, so it’s been a while since I’ve watched a weather segment. From what I can remember, it’s a little speech about whether or not you’ll need an umbrella tomorrow, professionally delivered by a meteorologist in a suit.
What we don’t see, behind the weather puns and the jokes with the news anchors, is a team of sky scientists who devour weather information and present it to non-sky scientists in a way that they can understand.
Meteorologists are weather translators.
When the weather is boring or normal, we don’t pay much attention to that part of the news. When the weather is exciting or dangerous, we are glued to our televisions, craving information. We may not understand how humidity relates to temperature or what it means when the wind is blowing from the northeast in one place and from the southwest five miles away, but meteorologists do, and it’s their job to explain it in a way that lets us know what’s going on (and whether we need to head to the basement).
Watching the weather coverage last night was what I imagine work is like for those sky scientists every day, with the added stress of having the cameras on and the necessity of “translating” on the fly.
Great job last night, Nebraska meteorologists; I appreciated the weather translation.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Great Mustache Superfluity of 2014

I like to tell people that there is nothing bad about my job as a photo booth operator. Except that I have to carry the stuff in and out of venues. Everything (if you don’t count the hauling bit) about my job is fun. I get to watch people make hilarious faces at the camera, help them put on silly hats, and offer everyone a ridiculous mustache.
Photo booths are super popular right now for weddings receptions, school carnivals, and corporate parties. So, popular, in fact, that our company’s two photo booths weren’t going to be able to make it to all of the events where they were wanted. In honor of a brand new third photo booth, I decided to make some new props, and it kind of… got out of hand.
The Great Mustache Superfluity of 2014
I don’t think we’ll need seventeen mustaches immediately, but I’m sure we’ll use them all eventually. Photo booth props get lost and broken pretty often, so at least this way I know I have extras.
I definitely have the necessary faux facial hair to head to the World Beard & Mustache Championships if I wanted to.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday in History: Sendakian

My childhood would have been different without Maurice Sendak. His interesting illustrations gave form to my imagination while reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and when I close my eyes, I can see every one of the pictures (one for every month of the year) in Chicken Soup With Rice. My husband and I read the Little Bear books to our children, and laugh about the folding chair in Pierre.
The famous author died on this day in 2012, and my kids are celebrating his life by making mischief of one kind and another. They’re roaring their terrible roars and gnashing their terrible teeth and showing their terrible claws.
And if I can settle the Wild Rumpus down, we’re going to read some of his wonderful contributions to the world.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Writing Prompt: The Silent Moon's Vigil

Our grandfather urged us to go. “It’s the astronomical event of a lifetime,” he told us. “An old man like me will be sound asleep far before it happens, so take your young eyes up that rock and bring me back a tale I can remember ‘til I die.”
He was always saying things like this. “I need to rest these old bones by the fire, so take your young legs off to the marketplace and fetch some eggs that will nourish this old body.” “That firewood won’t chop itself, and my arms don’t hold the axe like they used to. Bring us in some fuel that will warm up the house and keep me from taking a chill, ‘lest I die.”
But it wasn’t often that his admonitions took us from our chores, and still less often that they sent us off to any amusement. So my brother and I saw Grandfather to bed that night, pulled our boots on, and rushed to the beach.
The rock in question jutted out of the shore at the edge of the water, as though the giant tasked with stitching the water to the land had abandoned the job halfway through, leaving his working-needle behind.
By the time we got there, the wind was blowing the sweat off our necks, and the sound of the surf filled our ears.
We glanced at one another and wordlessly started the climb. It was surprisingly easy to find footholds. Many times in our lives, when our grandfather had allowed us a short holiday at the beach, we’d watched other children try to climb the rock. We’d watched young men, boasting of their own physical abilities, daring one another to a climbing race. The rock was always impossible for them to climb. At the halfway point, most children and many of the men found it difficult to continue. Quite a few of them found it very hard to turn back and climb down, despite the ease of their ascent. We had never seen anyone reach the top, and had never heard of anyone who had. But my brother and I climbed that rock as though it were one of the trees in our orchard at home.
Both of us were rather surprised when we gained the top. My brother cast me a worried look which seemed to ask whether I thought we would be able to climb down, but it was that moment that we realized that we were not alone.
Writing Prompt #625
We had climbed this impossible rock for one reason: to see the moons. The Silent Moon hardly ever showed its face, and Grandfather has assured us it was a sight worth seeing. We hadn’t been expecting to meet anyone, especially someone like that. I lost my breath for a moment or two at the sight of her. She was more beautiful than anyone I had ever seen, and seemed to shine in the light of the moons.
“Good evening,” my brother said politely. He was always more bold about speaking to girls than I was. “We apologize for our intrusion, but we had expected to be the only ones here tonight.”
It took her a moment to respond, as though she hadn’t noticed us standing there, staring at her. “You are welcome to share my vigil,” she said quietly, waving a hand at the stars.
“Thank you,” said my brother, and we seated ourselves to stare up at the sky. I was content to observe the heavens in silence, but I could see that my brother was looking at the lady more often than at the moons. “Our Grandfather urged us to come here tonight,” my brother continued, interrupting the quiet. “He knew we would enjoy the view.” He smiled at her as though she was one of the village girls who would blush at his thinly veiled compliment and giggle. When she did not, he opened his mouth again, as though determined to make her speak. “Is that the only reason you came tonight? The view?”
Again, she answered slowly. “I am waiting for my love,” she replied, gazing up at the moon.
“Oh,” said my brother, in a tone he reserved for disappointed apologies. “I beg your pardon.” I tried to give him a look to shut him up, but it seems the lady’s words had finally done that. My brother did not give the sky a second look, however. He gazed at the lady as though he would never see a woman again.
Silence reigned for the rest of the night, and I alternately watched the sky, and my brother, and occasionally glanced at the lady, whose eyes remained fixed on the moon.
As the sun reached over the edge of the horizon and spilled light over the world, my brother stood, shook himself, and climbed down the rock. The moon still hung in the sky, its light dimmed by the sun, and I watched as the Silent Moon disappeared quietly behind the clouds. It was then that I stood to stretch, trying to find my voice so that I could speak to the lady in order to apologize for my brother.
But she was gone.
It didn’t take me long to follow my brother, climbing as easily down to the beach as I had climbed up the evening before. We raced home, and my brother beat my by three long strides. He immediately opened the door, kicked off his boots while staggering inside, and fell into bed, his snores filling the house.
My grandfather awakened at the sound of the opening door, and his eyes twinkled at me as I sat in the doorway and shook sand out of my boots. “Well?” he began. “And just what did you see?”
I told him how the moon shined, and how the Silent Moon hung in the sky nearby, as though it wanted with all its might to be with the moon but could not quite reach.
“Anything else?” he asked, giving me one of his mischievous grins.
“Well, there was a--” I started to say, but Grandfather interrupted me.
“I suppose you know the legend of the Silent Moon?” he said.
“Uh… no,” I admitted, surprised at his sudden question.
“No?” he repeated, the look on his face informing me that everyone knew the story. Then, disregarding the fact that I’d been up all night, he plunged into the tale, accompanied by my brother’s snores.
“There once was a beautiful princess who was betrothed to a prince from a nearby kingdom. Though the marriage was the choice of her parents, the princess, who was an obedient daughter, looked forward to meeting her future husband. She was not disappointed when the day finally came for them to meet. He was everything she hoped he would be: charming, handsome, and good. She fell in love with him at first sight.
“The only thing that marred her happiness was that he was already in love with someone else. He did not want to marry her, but the date of their wedding was set, and the two kingdoms prepared for the great event despite the prince’s objections.
“On the day of the wedding, the prince appeared, but instead of swearing to love and cherish his bride, he declared he would never marry anyone but the one he loved. And so the kings and queens banished him from their kingdoms, promising that he could return when he was ready to marry the princess.
“The poor princess, broken hearted on her wedding day, would not listen to the advice of her parents when they suggested she wait for her prince to return. She followed him into exile as he traveled from place to place, but she could never catch up to him.
“And people say that eventually the prince became the moon, and that on the days that the Silent Moon gets close enough to shine its light where the moon is, that the princess has found her prince and is asking him to come back.”
I opened my mouth to question my grandfather, but he quieted me with a look and shooed me off to bed. As I settled down next to my brother, I wondered if Grandfather had just made the whole thing up. I closed my eyes and found myself thinking of the lady, shining in the moonlight; how she gazed up lovingly at the sky, waiting for her prince.
“Grandfather,” I called, as he shut the door and moved over to stir up the fire. “Do you think she’ll ever convince him? Do you think the prince will ever come home?”
Though my eyes were closed, I heard the smile in my grandfather’s voice. “My boy,” he replied, “we’ll know the answer to that on the day that the moons are no longer in the sky.”

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Dancing Snipe Conundrum

It all started with a silly viral video. This viral video:
Not much to see. A cute bird strutting to the beat of some Daft Punk coming out of the windows of a nearby car. That was not what began the conundrum, however. It was the explanation that accompanied the video, a claim that the bird in question was, in fact, a snipe.
My first reaction was to scoff, “snipes aren’t real!”
My second was to search just to make sure.
A sparse wikipedia article did not do much to confirm or deny the theory. Of the three small sections it contained, one was dedicated to my own knowledge of the mythical bird: snipe hunting.
Snipe hunting was a huge joke for those who were in on it and an embarrassing memory for those who were not. “Dude, you’ve never heard of snipe hunting? We should go this weekend!” The “experienced” hunters would give the first-timers a bag with which to catch the elusive prey, and take them out into the night, claiming excitedly to see the birds and attempting to chase them into the waiting hands and bag of the unenlightened hunter. Bruised, scratched, and empty-handed, the discouraged hunter returned home with his friends, who finally revealed, laughing, that there never was any snipe, and the whole thing was just to make him look foolish.
The wikipedia article even claimed that the word “sniper” was given to military sharp shooters because the unusual flight path of the bird makes it very hard to hit.
Despite finding a link to a reputable-looking bird watcher website which had many pictures and videos of its own, I still felt that the internet was trying to trick me. I was determined not to be left standing in the middle of a field in the dark, holding a bag while the entire internet laughed at the fact that I’d bought into the idea of a fictitious bird.
The only thing left for me to do was to contact the finest ornithologist-without-an-ornithology degree in the world: my grandmother. I left her a long phone message about my confusion, and went for information at the next best source.
“I think they’re real,” said my mother.
“I want Grandma and one of her books!” I complained. “I won’t believe it until I see the book or Grandma tells me.”
“I’ve got one of her books,” my mother said, and soon reappeared with The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, which was all the more trustworthy because its red plastic cover was attempting to escape the rest of the book.
“Common Snipe,” the index reported, “pgs 214, 446, 822.” Page 214 held a lovely color photo of the bird I’d already seen in the videos I’d watched. Page 822 revealed that the snipe is still considered a game bird, legal to hunt. Page 446 was the one I would have accepted as Grandma’s truth, for it held a map of the bird’s habitat, and added, “it stays well hidden in ground cover, flushes abruptly, and zigzags sharply in flight.”
Well, fine. I guess a snipe is a real thing. But you’re not going to catch me hunting it with a bag or a gun. But if I ever see one, I’ll definitely crank the radio so that we can dance together.