We were playing golf yesterday at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, in New Zealand. the playing conditions were very similar to those that were encountered at Harbour Town Golf Club last week, very windy and wet. After executing a lovely drive off the first tee, plumb in the middle of the fairway, which is not an easy fairway to make due to the fact the hole is a dog-leg to the left. In general most of my drives go through the dog-leg leaving me a long way from the green. Anyway, there I was in the middle courtesy of a draw off the tee, two hundred yards from the green. In normal weather conditions I would have had a good chance of putting the ball on the green, but firing into a strong wind blustery wind the odds were not too good.
I made a good swing, great connection with the ball and it started straight on line, I was impressed with the effort. Peering through the gloom to see if the ball was going to make the green, I lost sight of the ball and asked my playing partners if they could see it. One of them shouted, I think it’s on the green, it’s running towards the hole. I strained my eyes and indeed could see something white moving across the green towards the hole, magic I exclaimed.
Walking down the fairway quite happy, thinking of maybe a birdie, at worst a par, some one shouted, It’s gone in the hole, the wind must have blown it in. You can imagine I was now very happy at this sudden turn of good fortune, just lately the golfing Gods had been against me, with every bad bounce followed by an awkward shot, instead of playing from the fairway. I was still smiling to myself when the next shout came, It’s comeback out again, it’s going back across the green. My shoulders slumped, it was obviously not a ball, but what was it. The four of us debated the strange occurrence, could it be a leaf, or just a piece of paper blowing around in the wind ? That’s not a leaf or piece of paper I said, it looks like a small animal running around in circles, could it be a small hedgehog. We all agreed that it was indeed an hedgehog.
Walking up to my ball, which was just short of the green, the small animal was now clearly in sight, it was not an hedgehog but a white rat. Not all of us were happy with having a rat running around on the green, some backed away, I too was thinking of all the diseases rats could pass on with just one bite. As I was pondering what to do, this creature ran towards me, and sat on my shoe, looking up at me, with his front legs pawing at my long pants. Luckily for me it was the first time this year it had been cold enough to wear long pants.
The pawing continued, it reminded me of my little dog, who would paw at me to be picked up for a cuddle. I figured this was just a pet rabbit, it had no fear of humans, and obviously had no idea that the golf course was full of predators looking for a meal, hawks and feral cats for instance. What should I do, the advice from the playing partners ranged from, kill it to catch it. Roland, as I had now decide to call him, was persistently pawing at my leg, the group behind had now caught up with us and were patiently waiting back in the fairway.
So I took a chance and bent down and picked up Roland and put him in one of the pockets of my golf bag, along with some cheese from my sandwich, which he seemed to enjoy. I duly pitched on the green. made par, and carried on with the round. Roland was comfortable taking a ride, so he stayed there for the rest of the round.
One of my playing partners was my grandson Harry, he decided to take Roland home and look after him and try to find the owner. I went round the next day to see how things were progressing and found the newly acquired pet running around in a home made cage, having the time of his life. I have a suspicion that Harry is hoping the owner will not be found. There are no pictures of this event, due to the inclement weather, my phone stayed in my pocket, but if there are any updates on the situation of Roland I will keep you informed.