(too-loo-gak): Inuktitut (the language of Inuit) word meaning raven

Allen Hartman

Yellowknife. NT

One tournament we were playing, I hit the ball onto a par three onto the green. A raven came along. He picked up my ball. He played with it and moved my ball eight feet closer to the pin before he finally took off and left it. I played it from where it was. It was a good week.

One other night, I’d been golfing at the course for a number of years. I had heard the stories about the ravens taking the balls but never seen it. Three of us were golfing one night and on the second hole, I hit my second shot to the green. We watched a raven come down and take the ball. The other two guys had a great laugh. We get to the sixth hole and one of the guys hits his drive nicely down the middle. We got a good laugh. He took another brand new ball, hit it to the green and a raven came down and stole his second ball on the same hole. He lost two. The third guy in the group was laughing and said you guys are losing too new balls. The ravens are taking the shiny ones. I’ve got an old ball. The ravens aren’t going to touch it. On the number seven hole, all three of us hit and watched the ravens circling around and watched a raven come down and stole his ball.

I never seen it but I’ve heard stories and in the springtime, people downtown doing maintenance – remember the golf course is six kilometres from town – on the high-rise buildings and going up there and finding in a corner stashed under an air exchange unity will find 400 or 500 range balls which the ravens have stolen from the golf course and carried into town and hidden on the roofs. Maybe they think they’re eggs.

When I first came to Yellowknife in 1976, I worked at Akaitcho Hall, a student residence. They had a big dining room there. The kids came home from school one day for lunch. They were having minute steak. At the end, they were to clean up and dump the garbage into the big bins at the back. They were a little careless one time. The kids had gone back to school at 1 o’clock. I was sitting and looking out the window and there was a big lawn in front. I watched this dog come along and he had this great big piece of minute steak that had fallen down and he was walking proud. These two ravens came down and landed on the lawn in front of them. The dog put the steak down and barked at him. They backed away at an angle. He chased them back and forth. A third raven swooped down, picked up the minute steak. All three ravens flew up to the roof and the dog was barking his head off and the ravens were laughing at him.