I remember that that boy and I were goofing around along the banks of the Snake, doing kid things, when all of a sudden we heard this hissing behind us. We ignored it, but the hissing came louder, more insistent. We turned around but all that was there was a clump of tall grasses, maybe a juniper, some rocks. But there was no mistake to us: the hissing was a snake (it was the Snake River, after all). Probably a rattler . . . Well, we took off yelling. Scared. And then out from the grass jumps Oldest Brother. Laughing. He was the rattlesnake. And he was always pulling such stunts--nothing big or especially mean, but pranks pulled often enough to trouble some of us in the family more than others.
But one more thing from that camp, that trip: along the Snake River I caught a blue crayfish. Now, I loved animals, creatures and such. I had those guide books and children's books about animals from different areas of the country, areas of the world, and I'd study them like a little PhD scientist when I was a boy. Over and over and over. And I liked crayfish and I'd seen photos of blue crayfish and knew it was rare to see one and here I was, along the Snake in Idaho, and saw one among the rocks we were overturning and I reached into the cold shallow waters and pulled it up.
I don't remember if I let it go. I don't remember if I killed it.