Tuesday, August 29, 2006

baby moose!

So ... I promised a story about a sweet baby moose and a loony Huz. I regret that there are no pictures to accompany this post, but I hope you will read it anyway. It's a doozy.

While my sis and her family were visiting, The Huz had to be away for a few days. On the day that he returned, I went to pick him up at an airport a little over an hour from here. We got back to our neighborhood about an hour before dusk, and we decided to take a slightly different route home, because there had been a lot of construction on our road and it was recently finished and we wanted to see how it looked. So there we were, driving up the back side of the hill, when The Huz carolled out "Moose!"

Sure enough, there on the other side of the road, about 100 feet ahead, was a very small moose, looking toward us with its ears straight up. Well, we've seen lots of wildlife on our hill, but we've never seen a moose there. I thought we never would, because they like bogs, which are few and far between on good-sized hills like the one we live on. So we were pretty excited, and I immediately slowed way down in hopes it wouldn't run away too far from our car. By the time we got near it, we were barely rolling, and I had already rolled down my window so we could see it well.

It was a really small moose. We figured it had been born this past spring, making it about 4 months old. So we looked all around to see if there was a protective mother moose nearby. We don't want to irritate a protective mama moose. She'd come right through the car to get to us if she thought we were a threat to her baby.

But we didn't see one. Closer inspection revealed that the little moose was a girl. She had withdrawn maybe 10 feet from the road, watching us carefully. We just sat there, directly opposite her and the tiny bog she had been feeding in. I spoke to her quietly, in a wee elfish voice, saying, "We won't hurt you, little girl" and other such foolishness, but surprisingly it did seem to soothe her. She started walking back toward the road. Closer. And closer. I began to get nervous. Was she going to come right up to the car?

But no, she stopped right at the edge of the two-lane road where, as it turns out, there was something particularly delicious to a moose. She kept watch on us, but eventually she began pawing at the ground and dropped her head to nip at whatever she unearthed.

Then I realized that my sis and fam needed to see this. "Call them!" I urged the Huz.

Without hesitation, he commenced a long, slow moose call! He was about 2 seconds into it when I realized what he was doing. "Not the moose, the house!" I was cracking UP. I reached for my phone, keeping my eye on the moose, and handed it to the Huz. Sheepishly, (moosishly?) he dialed the phone and told them where to find us.

Meantime, I spotted another car coming up behind us. We were stopped dead in the middle of our lane. I worried that they might just pass us without realizing what we were doing, which would totally spook the little girl before my sis had a chance to see her. But he also slowed way down and stopped behind us and, chin in hand, proceeded to admire the little moose, too.

She was very pretty, for a moose. She had big soft eyes, and her muzzle looked amazingly soft. I swear she looked me right in the eyes whenever her nose wasn't in the muck, which took her eyes below the level of the road.

Soon my sis and her family slowly rolled up in their car. I looked to see if they had thought to bring a camera, but they hadn't. We all sat there, three cars in the middle of a country road, watching this little moose as she calmly had her dinner before our admiring eyes. We watched her for a long time. For so long, in fact, that eventually we got tired of it and said a soft "Goodbye, little girl!" as we headed up the road. The fellow behind us followed us, and eventually so did my sister.

So now, "Call them!" is a catch-phrase at our house, invoking guffaws and head shakings. I asked him later to do a full moose call for me; I had no idea what he was going to come out with that day. What he produced started out with a deep "mmmmoooooo" as if he were calling a cow, followed by an "s"! "Mmmmmmooooooose!" he was going to say. What a nut.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

# 2 seale~

I loved you Moose story.... I've really wanted to see a moose for a long time.... it seems that I even spent a summer or 2 praying that I would see one! We did enjoy them frequently at Yellowstone when we were there for a summer. There was a Mama and her baby , which we were never close enough to examine its gender!, who lived close to our cabin. I think I could even dig up a picture! ANyway.... great story!