Snake Pit Menu


The Oyster

Baxter Black

The sign upon the café wall said OYSTERS: fifty cents.
“How quaint,” the blue-eyed sweetheart said with some bewildermence,
“I didn’t know they served such fare out here upon the plain.”
“Oh, sure,” her cowboy date replied, “We’re really quite urbane.”

“I would guess they’re Chesapeake or Blue Point, don’t you think?”
“No ma’am, they’re mostly Hereford cross . . . and usually they’re pink
But I’ve been cold, so cold myself, what you say could be true
And if a man looked close enough, their points could sure be blue!”

She said, “I gather them myself out on the bay alone.
I pluck them from the murky depths and smash them with a stone!”
The cowboy winced, imagining a calf with her beneath,
“Me, I use a pocket knife and yank ‘em with my teeth.”

“Oh my,” she said, “You’re an animal! How crude and unrefined!
Your masculine assertiveness sends a shiver down my spine!
But I prefer a butcher knife too dull to really cut.
I wedge it in on either side and crack it like a nut!

I pry them out. If they resist, sometimes I use the pliers
Or even Grandpa’s pruning shears if that’s what it requires!”
The hair stood on the cowboy’s neck. His stomach did a whirl.
He’d never heard such grisly talk, especially from a girl!

“I like them fresh,” the sweetheart said and laid her menu down
Then ordered oysters for them both when the waiter came around.
The cowboy smiled gamely, though her words stuck in his craw
But he finally fainted dead away when she said, “I’ll have mine raw!”

Reprinted with permission from Baxter Black from Croutons Cow Pie, Vol II, P.7

Josie promised her late husband Al Bates that if they ever owned a restaurant, she would have “Rockies” on the menu. At the time, Josie was operating a tavern in Wallace. In 1954, they purchased the Enaville Resort, and Rocky Mountain Oysters have been on the menu ever since.
Josie was selected to represent Idaho at Expo -74 in Spokane. During the Expo, she featured sourdough pancakes and Rocky Mountain Oysters. The staff at the Snake Pit prepared Rockies ‘round the clock’ to make sure Josie had enough of the Rockies to cook each and every day.

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