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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Local Golf
September 24, 2017

By R.J. Smiley

Harold worked his whole life in a warehouse in St. Paul. In his late 30's a friend asked him to join him and a few friends in a Tuesday night league at a Twin Cities muni. It was love at first swing. Harold was hooked. He loved golf. Living paycheck-to-paycheck Harold was always looking for a deal to feed his addiction.

Then one day the company handed Harold the ceremonial gold watch and he was retired. Social Security and a small company pension gave Harold adequate income for a comfortable retirement. He got a job as a ranger two or three times a week so he could play golf free.

Throughout his working years Harold's shift began at 6:00 am. Old habits die-hard and Harold always is ready to go by 5:30. Knowing the entire crew at the muni, Harold would pull his cart half a block to the golf course and play at least 9-holes every day. He loved watching the golf course wake up. With the grass still wet from the irrigation, Harold enjoyed the wildlife, especially the baby rabbits and little ducklings. He felt like they were friends as he watched them mature each day during the summer months. Each year he enjoyed this daily bonding with nature even more.

Then one morning as Harold was looking for his golf ball at the edge of a fir tree, that's spreading pine needle laden branches touched the ground, Harold saw something. He could not believe what he was seeing. It looked like something from a devil worship cult. There, at the edge of the tree was a one or two week old cottontail rabbit who's body was completely intact but its head had been ripped off. He shuttered as he inspected this gruesome sight. Who would do this? Was it some kid pulling a devilish stunt? Was it an animal that had killed the bunny? Why would an animal not eat its kill?

Harold wanted to bury the bunny, but instead he placed it carefully in the trash can.

The very next morning as Harold was playing his morning round the thought of the bunny haunted him. He looked forward to re-visiting the spot on the 5th hole to re-inspect the crime scene. As Harold apprehensively approached the fir tree he flinched at the re-run of the horrible sight. There in the exact sport was a littermate of the bunny with its head eaten off and blood trickling from the fresh decapitation. Harold's eye grew misty as he shattered at the incredible murder scene. Who? Why?

Then he caught a movement from the corner of his left eye. A white flash, then it was gone into the brush. Was that a skunk? Was it a cat?

Again Harold deposited the carcass into the trash can. As he was putting out on the 5th green, a woman outside the fence that divided the golf course from the sidewalk along the street waved him over. She said, "l live across the street and see you playing almost every morning. I have lost my cat. Have you seen a white cat with gray "eyebrows" on its forehead?"

"I have not seen a cat, but I have found two small rabbits with their heads eaten off the past two mornings, then I did see a white flash out the corner of my eye."

"Oh, no! He is a killer cat. For some reason he kills rabbits, birds and mice. He kills them and eats their heads off and just leaves them. It must be him. He has been gone for two days. I really hope I can find him. I try to keep him in the house."

The very next morning Harold saw the woman again who seemed to be waiting for him near the green. "He came home," she said. "Must have discovered that life is easier in the house. Were there anymore dead bunnies?"

"No!" Harold said. "I think your cat was the killer. Keep him locked up like he was in prison where he deserves to be."

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