Lunch on Ze Rogue

A snack story

You need to know who Vlad is to understand this story.

Vlad is from Russia. When he comes down to the put-in, he says “Vitch iz my boat? Voo took my boat?” When he can’t find the dinner box, he says “Vere are ze boxez?” Stuff like that.

We all envied his fabulous accent and one summer we all put “-ski” on the end of everything, in honor of Vlad. We’d all say “Time for lunchski!” Or “Put on your lifejacketski.”

OK. That’s the background.

Now the story.

Lunch on ze Rogue

On this particular trip, I think it was the Rogue, it was a lovely day, very quiet, blue sky, no drama. Everyone’s having a fun time. We’d stopped for lunch. We’re all laughing, relaxed. We set up a table and were pulling the sandwich stuff together when Vlad came up from the boats.

“I haf ze snakes” he said.

“What?” I said.

He said, “I haf ze snakes.”

“Snakes?” I said.  “You have snakes?  Where?”

“In box,” he said.  He was carrying a rocket box.

“In the BOX?” I said, “Why do you have snakes in the box?”

He shrugged, putting it down. “Zat’s vat people vant.” He started unsnapping it.

“WAIT!” I hollered. “How’d snakes get in the box?

“I put them,” he said.


“YES!” he was irritated. “Lots of SNAKES! I told zou!” And he kept unsnapping.

Lunch on ze Rogue

Everybody stopped chopping and stared at him. The laughing ceased. A woman nearby backed away. I was silent, my knife frozen in my hand, my eyes wide, I didn’t know what to think. Vlad was a wild man. Everyone knew that. That’s why we loved him. But still. A box of snakes? Right where we’re all standing? I couldn’t believe this was happening. And then….an epiphany…

“SNACKS!”  I hollered. “Vlad! You mean SNACKS!”

“Vatever,” he said, and got out a cookie.

Cookie on ze Rogue

Story by ARTA guide (ret.) John Cassidy
Illustrations by ARTA guide Camille Kintzele. You can check out more of her art here.

A whitewater rafting oar

Leave a Reply