Saint John — Earlier this week, it was announced that the Sobey family had donated their 12-hectare property on the St. Marys River in Nova Scotia to the Nature Trust in order to protect the local ecosystem.
Continuing this trend, the family has also decided to donate their former store in Saint John’s McAllister Place, vacated last year in favour of a new East Point location, also for the preservation of wildlife.
Tuesday morning, the family invited reporters to come view the grand opening of the preserve.
At the storefront entrance, the press was cordially met by Mark Cannon, the official representative for the Sobey family.
Ruggedly handsome and dressed in a manner reminiscent of a 1930s adventure star, Cannon told journalists that he would be taking them through a guided tour of the nature preserve, which he explained the family had been developing “for some time now.”
He opened the front doors to reveal a grand vision of expansive greenery. Sloths hung from the rafters. Deer gallivanted across the cereal aisle. Birds circled the bakery. Nature had completely overtaken the former grocery store.
The group pressed forward. Cannon cut a path through the rapidly growing ferns with a dull machete. He pointed out reptiles, basking in the heat of rotisserie ovens. He invited reporters to pick wild fruits from the produce section, carefully advising them on what was and was not edible.
They crossed Soup Aisle River in a makeshift boat designed for the purpose, nearly losing a blogger who was totally unaccustomed to nautical activity and consequently fell overboard. Ultimately, the blogger was saved by the buoyancy of the oversized lemons they had just recently picked. Serendipity.
As the group made its way to back of the building, a small noise was heard from the direction of the frozen items. Cannon froze.
“Shhht,” he said suddenly, gesturing for reporters to stop in their tracks. His arm raised, he began listening intently. There it was again! This time louder. Closer.
“It’s her,” he said, gravely. Then, shouting, “Everybody move, move move!”
But it was too late. At that very moment, a huge Bengal tiger leaped from atop the dairy freezer, landing on an unsuspecting and slow-moving reporter for the Telegraph-Journal.
The tiger took the reporter in its teeth and dragged his limp, moaning body off toward the deli section.
“Jesus Christ,” panted a young CBC writer once the rest of the party had made it a safe distance away. “That was their spell-checker! And it…it just killed him.”
“This is no place for the incompetent or the inept,” said Cannon, solemnly. “This is Sobeys.”