Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Near Moose

It was just another morning of walking through the beautiful neighborhood.  Most of the early traffic had passed me on the road as it usually does.

Mrs. Clawson, the bus driver, had waved at me twice as she usually does.  

She comes by once and then does a loop around Forest Siding, so I always see her twice.

Most of the early-morning drivers wave.  

Some do not.  There's this one fast car, with a cigarette-smoking driver inside, which passes me every morning.  The driver never waves.  He's too busy maneuvering down the South Center Valley speedway. 

As usual, he failed to wave this morning as he zipped past.

We do have a sheriff's deputy out here, and I'm wishing some morning that the dragster would be right in front of the deputy who drives his private car to work.

Then, maybe the dragster would slow down.

My thoughts on today's walk were not too profound, just moments of enjoyment as I listened to robins chirping and water gurgling into the swale from Taylor's field to the west side of the road.

That's the same swale I crossed the other morning in Meserve's field. 

With most traffic on its way toward schools or wherever, I moved from the road edge and started walking down the middle of the road a little ways past Johnsons. 

Suddenly, something caught my eye in Meserve's field----a big something.

Yup, the morning moose was out and about.  

I'm guessing I caught its eye about the same time; if not then, surely when I wheeled around and trotted a few feet back north.

Then, I thought about my situation.  Maybe I should just walk on.  Maybe morning moose will wait in the field for me to pass by.

So, I took a few steps.  He/she looked back at me and remained like a statue in the field----for a few seconds anyway.

Then, the critter put its head down and started moving forward.

I turned around again, thinking I really needed to catch up with the news at Janice Johnson's house this morning and maybe even, while there, I could call Bill and tell him to come and get me.

Then, I remembered a line Bill dropped on me several years ago in Yellowstone on a trail toward a fishing hole where we spotted a bear just a few feet away.  

We passed by safely, but I knew we had to come back down that trail, and I was positive that bear would still be there.

So, I sputtered all along the way and worried all the time I was fishing, figuring the bear might even follow us to our fishing hole.

On the way back, we met some young men from Illinois.  I asked them if they had seen a bear down the trail.

Yes, they had (footnote: one of those guys whom we'd never met before still exchanges Christmas cards with us).  

Anyway, if they saw the bear on their trip up the trail, it was surely waiting for us.

So, the sputtering began anew.

Bill seemed oblivious to all the wife-inflicted racket behind him and simply marched on down the trail.  

I, of course, simply marched behind him.  After all, no protective Janice Johnson house existed along that Yellowstone trail.

Well, we made it to the bottom, and I announced great relief that I had actually lived through that scary situation.

To which Bill replied, "What doesn't kill you builds character."  

Switch back to South Center Valley Road, March 27, 2013. 

Okay, I'll do a little character building, I thought.

So, I moved a few feet forward.  So, did the moose, which had taken a break to stare at me.

Okay, I'll just stand here in the road and let the moose go first.  I looked at big trees along the roadside.  That's always been my last-ditch solution should I ever get too upclose and personal with a moose:  wrap myself around a big tree---on the opposite side of the moose. 

I also thought about the possibility that more cars MIGHT come down the road----maybe even a slow one with a nice person inside who would see the moose, slow down and offer me a ride, which I would surely accept.

Well, while I was thinking about these possibilities, morning moose kept on moving through the field toward the fence by the road. 

My next fear was that morning moose might turn north.  Instead, after jumping the fence, the critter stood in the middle of the road, looked back at me and then ambled toward Gary Finney's driveway.

A car was coming from the north, so I knew I'd live another day.  At least, I thought I would.

As the moose walked into Gary's driveway, the car approached me and did not slow down.

Of course, the 4-inch wide opening the driver had scraped from his windshield frost may have limited his vision.  

The car drove on without so much as a wave, and I walked on home, knowing that I now have more character.  

That's my story for the Moose News, and I'm sticking to it on this lovely Wednesday Morning. 

Enjoy the day. 

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