The four couples from various parts of western Canada had grown to love one another over the past eight winters. Each couple purchased their snowbird retirement home in a gated Arizona desert golf community about the same time.
Thursday was loonie day at their golf club, their day to be Canadians! They loved these get togethers with dear friends who, by now, shared much more than a national heritage. They had two standing tee times, one for the men and the other for the women. Immediately after golf cocktails; followed by dinner as they watch Mother Nature paint today’s version of “Sunset Over The Desert.” Their reserved table, always the same, sat next to the railing, on the elevated patio, with the gas heaters keeping the evening chill away.
The chef often created something special for these regulars from north of the border. On this memorable day the bar manager created a special cocktail, a pitcher of “Windsor, Old Fashions” served with Maple Leaf coasters. “What a thoughtful touch!” they said as the smooth drinks elevated their spirits! Salads were served along with two bottles of New Zealand’s best. The conversation turned from today’s round to kids and politics.
As the shadows became taller than the desert cactus they mirrored, the local wildlife, that has become addicted to the abnormally easy life living on a golf course, was coming out for dinner. The rabbit population was busily searching for the perfect green morsel.
Then they heard it – a scream, like a baby, only more terrified. Then they heard it again! The big woman sitting next to the railing looked down and let out a scream of her own. The sight and sound of Nature at its cruelest. A large bobcat had a rabbit held securely by the neck as it waited for life to slowly drain from helpless hare.
As the waitress served their entrees, the Canadian companions watched the bobcat rip the hare open; then, systematically consume the desert cousin of Br’er Rabbit – on the spot. “I don’t think I can enjoy my meal with that going on only a few feet away,” said a pale looking lady in dated Olympic Red sweater.
“I know that that happens everyday, but as long as I have lived in the desert, I have never seen or heard a rabbit scream.
I have been told that a terrified rabbit can scream like the sound of a baby’s cry, but this is too much.” Then she said to the waitress, “Why don’t you just put our food in a doggie bag, I couldn’t possibly eat it tonight.”
“Bring us a bottle of Cognac and eight snifters,” said the low handicapper in the group. “We need to wash that scene out of our minds.”
On that particular Canadian Thursdays, it seemed that the bobcat enjoyed his dinner much more that our group of transplanted from north of the border.