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Tuesday August 21, 2018
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drawing of a hawk on a skateboard

Skatepark Hawk

Weighty prey posed a problem.

by David Swain

From the April, 2018 issue

The red-tailed hawk that hunts around Vet's Park usually confines its diet to mice, voles, chipmunks, rabbits, the occasional squirrel, and any sparrows or mourning doves that it wishes to knock out of the air. Recently however, the park's resident raptor snared an adult woodchuck. It prefers to fly its prey to a lofty perch before dining, but the woodchuck's weight precluded that. Also, the woodchuck's huge digestive system apparently did not appeal to the hawk's discerning palate. So it left a big mess on the park's skating surface--the pile of guts was larger than an entire rabbit or squirrel.

An older skater who came upon it first thing in the morning was unflustered; he'd often found many unusual things left from the night before, including expressions of evil intent such as swastikas and motor oil. He understood that this, however gory, was just animals doing what they do. Others who showed up later in the day did not have such a stoic attitude. Concerned citizens freaked out and summoned the authorities to determine if this was a crime scene, a hate crime, or who knows what.

The police and skaters were relieved and had a good laugh when it became apparent that no paperwork or further action was required. Just a good old-fashioned case of "great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts."     (end of article)

[Originally published in April, 2018.]


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