The Snowy River Game


At the Snowy River, a large round boulder poked its head out of the water, 40 yards away from where we stood on the bank. Coen (pronounced COON) picked up a stone and threw it in a high arc at the grey rock. He missed, left and short. Then, left and long. Then, right and long. Short. Left and short.

The deep plunk of each miss was like a cry for help, and soon Felix and I joined in, tripling the lonely sound. But now we have a game.

Left. Short. Left and short. WAY short; there is some laughter from the girls watching. But we must have a winner. Right. Right. All three of us right. We show no progress, pluck our throwing stones from the ground quickly and without our earlier discrimination. Once it had seemed we would never run out of ammo, but now I imagine our misses may run the rock aground, push the river up over our ankles.

None of the girls play, but they watch politely and disguise their disinterest. They offer their attention now for ours later, when there will be wine and dark and the light of a foreign moon. An ancient and civilized compromise.

Though our arms are burning rubber, there can be no stopping. We must have a winner.

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