Day 242: Peek Pique

After leaving Dodge City, Laetitia and her group went northeast through Kansas, stopping at the Santa Fe Trail Center and the Pawnee Rock State Historic Site. They passed through Great Bend, and went to the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area for some bird viewing. The name “Cheyenne Bottoms” reminded Laetitia of an account she had read in Charles C. Mann’s 1491, mostly about pre-Columbian America. Giovanni da Verrazzano, a sixteenth-century Italian explorer sailing under the French flag, attempted to trade with a group of Abenaki Indians in Maine who simply turned, showed their buttocks, and laughed. Apparently the duplicity of certain European explorers had reached the Abenakis, and they responded accordingly. This was possibly the first recorded instance in the Americas of “mooning.” Back in Great Bend that evening, Laetitia and her group did a walkabout and overheard a conversation between two teenage boys that gave Laetitia the limerick of the day.

The gossip today in Great Bend
Is the tattoo on Sue Smith’s rear end
That every boy teen
Has bragged that he’s seen,
In order to pique her boyfriend.