Hosting a Shoot

A swift creek ran past the farm, disappeared into the forest. My morning chore was filling a battered wooden bucket with water cool and clear. I carried it back to my host’s tiny rural house. Trudging along the slope, I watched the gray smoke snake out of the chimney into the damp morning air.

I had been here for a few days, recuperating. This isolated family had been overly generous to me, but I had told them that it was time for me to move on. My backpack was ready and sitting next to the front door of the house.

As I approached the door, it opened and the quiet young woman emerged from within. She wore an Armenian costume. I had not seen her wear it before.

I pointed at the bucket. She gestured for me to set it down. I did. Next to the three-legged stool.

Speaking, she was saying something I couldn’t understand. Her hands pantomimed, made motions in the air.

Slowly, I began to understand. “You want me to take your picture?” With a make-believe camera, I pretended to look through a viewfinder. She nodded.

My camera was already in my backpack, so it took a few minutes to get it back out. When I had it in hand, I went to take her picture there in front of her house. Frowning and shaking her head, she walked away towards the forest. I followed.

Finding the spot she favored, she stopped suddenly and turned around.

“Here?” I asked pointlessly. I looked around. It was a pretty enough spot. The light was good.

She clasped her arms in front of her and refused to smile. I took several shots. However, after just a few seconds, she left and walked back to the hut. I couldn’t tell, but she seemed satisfied by the impromptu photo shoot.

Later, as I left, I promised her father that I would send them prints of the photos.

I’ve never been back there and I don’t know what the family did with the pictures of their farm that I sent. Still, I do know any photograph was a novelty to them. They had none of their own.

Picture is linked via The Write Prompts

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