noun. A knife with a folding blade. A dive in which the body is first bent at the waist and then straightened.
verb, transitive. To move one's body into a bent or doubled-up position.
verb, intransitive. Of an articulated vehicle, to bend into a V-shape in an uncontrolled skidding movement. Of a diver, to perform a jackknife.
Dusk was falling quickly and the mist that had hung in the air all day was coalescing into raindrops by the time they stopped and built a small fire. Justin reluctantly told Katy "Yes" when she asked if she should cook the hare he had shot that afternoon. He knew she wasn't used to living outdoors and travelling constantly. Still, if she could begin meal preparation, it would free him to find dry firewood and pile it nearby for use that night.
He strayed further than he wanted to in search of kindling. Anxiously, he moved through the trees toward the bright ember of the fire. Even from a distance, he could see Katy moving back and forth beside it. Unless....
He stopped and watched for a moment. There was more than one person near the fire--not just Katy. Justin cautiously lay his burden on the ground and extracted his knife from its sheath. He crept through the thicket silently, testing the ground with a mocassined foot before he pressed his weight on it. Soon, he was able to see the tableau by the fire.
Katy had set the dressed hare to roast on a spit of green limbs, slanted over the coals. The sight reassured him. Maybe he had underestimated her. But the rest of what he saw filled him with dismay. Two scruffy men were with her, one hunkered near the fire and the roasting meat, one grappling with Katy off to one side. She appeared to be putting up enough of a fight to keep him busy, but not enough for him to call for his companion's help. The latter reached for the spit, as if to poke the meat to test its doneness, when the stick that held it suddenly burned through below the hare and jackknifed downward, dropping the partially-cooked hare into the flames.
The hunkered-down man bellowed in anger and reached for the meat before it could fall into the fire. He evidently grabbed it with his bare hand, because he jerked the hand back, uttering an ear-piercing shriek. The noise interrupted the wrestling match between the other man and Katy. Both turned their heads toward him. Justin seized the moment and rushed the man at the fireside, knife raised.
Definitions adapted from The New Oxford American Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Inc., 2005 (eBook Edition, copyright 2008), and from Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Company, Publishers, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, 1965, depending on which is more convenient to hand.