Yesterday morning I reached for my keys and headed to the front door to go start the car warming up when I glanced out the window and saw a young moose high stepping his way into a front yard across the street. I hadn’t seen a moose in the neighborhood since right before Christmas and had recently been thinking that we’ve been getting lax in checking our backyard for moose before letting the dog out.
“Hey! There’s a moose” I called out, as we do. Before I could find my phone and snap a picture, which is usually the next step in moose routine, a car slowed on the street in front of the moose and windows rolled down for pictures. Also routine.
But this guy, already skittery, was spooked by this activity and he dashed across the street, bolted through an opening between houses and was quickly into the backyard next door where he ran in wild, unpredictable circles with frantic stops and starts. We watched through our windows and wondered if he’d soon hop the fence and be in our backyard. I was glad our dog was safely indoors.
Indeed, it wasn’t long before the moose hopped the fence opposite ours and we didn’t see him again that day, but as David and I walked the dog in the neighborhood that evening I noted the fresh evidence he’d left on sidewalks. A reminder: Pay Attention.
This morning, the dog and I went out for our morning walk. Nearly finished, we were less than a block from home when I spotted the large body ambling our direction along the sidewalk across the street. We stopped. It stopped.
By the light of street lamps in the Saturday morning dark, there we stood, the moose and I, studying each other.
Now, it is not uncommon to encounter moose in our neighborhood. They usually pay little attention to humans as they go munching their way through the yards, sampling trees and shrubs (and pumpkins!). Sometimes they slowly turn their humongous heads in what appears to be lazy disinterest and stand dully watching the activities going on around them. They generally seem to have little care for the cars slowing to a stop and people standing at a distance, snapping pictures. Munch, munch, munch.
But the rule for the humans is always: Do not antagonize! Leave plenty of space. And usually there is no drama. Safe passage for all.
And so, there we stood this morning, the dog and I, on a sleepy Saturday morning street corner, eyeballing the moose, and gauging whether we could safely walk the length of two more houses to reach our own. Across the street, I could see his eyes and his flicking ears. He was much too interested in us. I know too well: a spark of irritation and wildness unleashed.
We slowly backed up, and once out of sight, we turned to walk quickly to the backside of the block, frequently checking back to be sure we weren’t being followed. By the time the dog and I got back to our street on the opposite end of of the block, the moose was nowhere to be seen. And that is the end of the story.
We do not discern those eyes/watching in the snow.