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Exploring a reedy marsh,
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Exploring a reedy marsh,
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

A Peeping, Two-Footed Booby

264 words


A true story...
by Dianne Roth


Being an aging, hippie, pacifist means there are moments in my past that have stayed… well, quietly obscured. Here is one such moment.

A friend and her daughters were staying with me and my sons. She had been to Sauvie Island and lamented that on such a hot day, it was too bad there was not a nude beach in Corvallis. The presence of a just such a place on the banks of the Willamette had entered the corner of my ear and I even had acquired a rudimentary knowledge of where it was, though the temptation to visit was never very strong. We decided, on the spot, to go on an adventure.

Our children had known each other since diaperhood; camping, canoeing, and swimming “au naturale” since they were babies. We hiked them along the banks of the river until we found a bit of beach for the children and a stand of reeds that would act as a screen for our sunbathing. While we threw down blankets and snacks, the children took to the water and we, …um…, took to the sun.

It was lovely. Warm sun, peaceful river, our babies splashing and squealing in cool water on a hot summer day. What could be better?

Then, we began to hear sounds in the reeds. We guessed it was a large, clumsy, big-footed animal thrashing about. And, sure enough, as soon as our swim suits were back in place, a peeping, two-footed booby came plodding down the river with his binoculars.

We packed up and went home to the backyard wading pool.


Dianne Roth is a teacher, mother, grandmother, and freelance writer. She lives in Oregon.




Last updated on October 8, 2012