Crowsnest

The most complete version of Crowsnest, in some semblance of order, can be found here.

“I shot a rattler once. Shot it right between the eyes as it crossed the trail in front of me.”

This snippet of conversation hooks my ear like a lure must hook a trout. What a strange thing, to be thinking of snakes in my belly and have one appear in words beside me.

“Shot a snake? I wouldn’t have thought it possible. How does one shoot such a wriggling, winding thing?” I can’t remember ever voluntarily speaking to one of the men before. The two oldtimers look up from their parlor chairs with mild surprise.

“Just like shooting any other creature, miss. Aim and squeeze the trigger, no?” He mimes the actions for me.

“They make a darned good meal,” the other man says.

“A meal!” I have barely adjusted to the slab of venison roasting in the kitchen, and now there’s talk of eating rattlesnakes.

“I’ve even chopped it up in flapjacks,” he says, smacking his lips. “Tastes like chicken.”

A call from Mrs. Nowak brings me to my sense. I’m supposed to be fetching water, not listening to tall tales of reptile cookery.

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