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Dreams of buffalo, butterflies and wolves lure us to casino

Joyce Walter reflects on slot machines and dreams.
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

A friend made the observation the other day: “I haven’t seen you at the casino in awhile,” she said in our phone conversation.

I agreed, that since the start of the pandemic, our visits to our favourite slot machines had been limited, and in fact, it has been more than a year since we’ve tried our luck on the buffalo and butterfly machines.

“The butterfly machine is gone now and I think some of the buffalo machines have been taken out too,” my friend advised. She says she goes there occasionally when she feels lucky, but doesn’t stay very long. “But it is something to do to pass the time,” she remarked.

It might have been this conversation, it might have been the newsletter that arrived in the mail the other day, telling about entertainment in the Regina show lounge and the menu items featured for the Easter Sunday gathering or maybe it was the expired coupon for $5 I found in the bottom of my purse but for whatever reason, I’ve taken to dreaming about my visits to nearby casinos.

If I had won large amounts I certainly hope I would have awakened with the excitement of cashing in all those winning vouchers. Instead, I drifted off to sleep again, coming to in the morning with thoughts of casino winnings floating in my head.

Another night brought another dream, this one of besting the wolf machine and hearing the howls of winning symbols falling into place. I believe this was only a flashback to several years ago when the wolves gave up a fair bit of their money to me on a winning day at the Swift Current casino.

That was the end of my casino dreams and I’m still trying to figure out their meaning. The power of suggestion is one possibility.

If the buffalo and butterfly machines are gone, is there any chance the wolf slot machine is still in operation? An attendant at the time of my winnings said it was difficult to get parts for these old machines. A pity.

I’ve often had luck with the very old pirate slot but it has likely been sent off to the pirate junk pile, along side Bob the Fisherman and the Lobster man. I kept winning old boots but not much cash from that lobster boat.

The marketing departments of casinos close by and in other provinces must be thinking that April is the month to entice visitors to stop in to try their luck at some games of chance, receive a deal at attached hotels, and earn some money off restaurant meals, with a members’ card.

One of the Manitoba casinos invited us to drop in for St. Patrick’s Day, and then came another notice of special Easter weekend opportunities to gamble, dine and sleep. Maybe there will be a third chance to stop there enroute to someplace else in the province.

We visited a casino in Ontario in 2016 and are still on the mailing list. The lineup of entertainment is enticement enough to visit, if only it were closer. Maybe George Canyon or Charlie Major will visit Moose Jaw again soon so we don’t have to travel so far.

So, there is a decision to be made: should we renew our membership cards so that someday we might be eligible for a $5 coupon in free slot play? Should we turn our backs on the chance to beat the wolves and buffalos and instead rely on some 50-50 or chase the ace chances at the weekend meat draws?

Maybe a quick walk-through to check on the available slots would be the safest solution and who knows, maybe the wolves will be happy to see us. Dreams do indeed inspire related behaviour.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 



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