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Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Woman Who Called Quail

The subject of this piece is my great aunt, Virgie Crisp (now deceased). It is based on one of the few photos I have of her. She was what we call here in the mountains "a real character". Growing up, I spent almost every weekend (and as many weekdays as I could manage) with her and my Uncle Bart. They had no children, and I had no grandparents nearby, so we became surrogate grandchild/grandparents. She was very old fashioned and extremely interesting to be around. A day with them was filled with ballads, pranks, tom-foolery, riddles, laughter, and just plain fun. She had a wonderful singing voice and could mimic all sorts of sounds. On one occassion, she, Uncle Bart, and I were sitting on her front porch when Uncle Bart heard a quail call on the mountain in front of the house. When he remarked that he would love to have some quail for supper, she began whistling quail calls. Uncle Bart went inside and came out with his gun and waited as the answering calls got closer and closer. After a bit, here came a quail sneaking out of the underbrush in the fence row in front of the house. Without any gross details, he had quail for supper. I thought it was really interesting at the time, but thinking back, I realize this must not have been the first time this had happened. I have TONS of "Virgie and Bart" stories, as do my children. My daughter and I have both begun writing them down because they are just too precious to lose.

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