“THE VICTIM? ME!”
A long time ago in another life time, my childhood, I got to move with my parents to our first owned house. It was way up on a high hill and the neighborhood was full of kids my age or older. It was heaven to live on that street for also it ended at the top. There was a paved circle in the cul de sac and past that were woods that I would come to know and love. I was nine and in the fifth grade.
That circle was the gathering place for tons of kids. Some were on their bikes while others were goofing off, showing off or playing games. I was always there after school or on the weekends if I weren’t at a friend’s house on that long street. Not only did I like the kids but one in particular—my next door neighbor: He took my breath away and he knew it. I’m not sure if he was there the day that I became a VICTIM or not. Can’t remember.
It was a summer Saturday and a bunch of us were at that place as usual. A couple of boys approached me with a big paper bag and told me to go to the woods and stay there with that bag open and a snipe would come running into the bag. Did I question it? No. I was gullible and went into the woods with that bag and stood there for what seemed like an eternity and saw nothing! If there were a snipe around, it didn’t come to me. Frustrated with just standing there, I walked back to the circle only to be laughed at by those boys.
“Did you get the snipe?” said one boy. “What snipe?” I said. And then it dawned on me that I had been taken in by a big joke. Felt like an idiot.
Some of my girlfriends came rushing over to soothe me with words like “It happened to me!” “They did that to me too!” And despite their help, I was embarrassed and went home.
All was soon forgotten and I wasn’t scarred at all. It was just a joke that had been played on lots of kids. But I wonder if kids today even know that joke or if anyone tries to do that anymore? Doubtful, for if they did, all the soon- to -be victim would have to do would be to google it or use their IPhone and immediately know that there is no such thing as a snipe. Wish that technology had been around when I was a kid. All we had was sets of World Books to look in for information. The computer had not been invented [well it was but it was as big as a room] and neither had a cell phone.
But it was the best of times to be a kid in a world not yet marred by things such as today. Snipes? Such a simple fun thing at that time—if you weren’t holding the empty bag!