It was one of the Kingdom’s more pleasant Sunday afternoons in recent months.
There was a subtle breeze which made the sun friendlier to retirees and children. Residents gathered for the annual Rabbit Round-Up BBQ at the Kingdom’s fairgrounds.
Delber Tardiff, a long-time resident and retired plumber spoke fondly of the BBQ to the media. “The Rabbit Round-Up BBQ has been an annual event since the late 1800s, but I do recall as a boy, biting into a bit of buckshot now and again. Them rascals BBQ up real good!”
Gabby Newtonian, a former first grade school teacher said, “I’ve lost most of my teeth due to my addiction to licorice, but barbecued rabbit done right is so tender and juicy, you don’t need teeth to enjoy it. It just melts in your mouth.”
All guests were encouraged to have second and third helpings of the furry little critters. The biggest fear, according to one of the many sponsors of the event, the Sisters of Traditional Debutantes, or S.T.D. as they are commonly referred to, is that they’ll run out of napkins and moist wipes long before the annual BBQ comes to a close.
Fact is, last year, Betsy Swallowhole, a former S.T.D. President, passed-out when she discovered that the supply of napkins was exhausted much quicker than expected. The incident was later blamed on a calculator malfunction, but residents felt that it was just another Kingdom cover-up for an S.T.D.
The real story developed as local residents encouraged a pack of coyotes to come to the tables and feast on the barbecued version of the meal that they so commonly enjoy raw and in darkness.
Fred Clump, the owner of the Kingdom’s only tractor tire recapping service, was boasting that the coyotes were nothing more than a little larger version of the many stray cats which roam the area.
According to witnesses, it wasn’t more than a minute after Fred’s statement that the coyotes became more aggressive and began feasting on pets which local residents had brought along.
Screams and shouts followed as chaos turned a beautiful afternoon into a nightmare for adults and children alike. Firearms were drawn by those in the crowd with CCWs and it was like a turkey shoot; although in this case, it was a coyote shoot.
Reverend Montclair said that, “there are those among us that bite the hand that feeds them, but the Devil’s greed has a strange power.”
After the ruckus ended and the dust settled, a know-your-neighbor count was taken and it was determined that three of the attendees were carried off by the unruly and ungrateful pack of coyotes, never to be seen again. Although, in the hours that followed a wristwatch and a partial dental plate were found about a quarter mile away from the event in the foothills behind the fairgrounds.
The Kingdom’s Director of Pedestrian Safety said that, “Coyotes are known to be party crashers and become belligerent once their bellies are full. This only adds to the stereotypical view that coyotes are not to be trusted.”
Animal activist, Paton Theeback, condemned the Director’s comments and said that it was, “Obvious, that the behavior of the attendees was with malice to entice and tease these wonderful creatures of the Southwest with a barbecued version of their bland and raw diet and to play psychological mind games with them in order to trigger their natural instincts. The blame for this incident is solely on the heads of the Kingdom’s people.”
The S.T.D. muttered among its members and vowed openly to spread the long-lasting effect of S.T.D. throughout the community.
Just a footnote; The next morning, one of the coyote BBQ crashers was found dead, apparently the adult male coyote succumbed to choking on a pair of mesh pantyhose.
Talk of what happened at this year’s Rabbit Round-Up BBQ will echo long into the future and destined to be re-lived through community story telling by all those who were in attendance.