Teen Moose

Three times I have spotted a young moose in my backyard. This teen-moose is a curious bull, growing his first pair of antlers that resemble horns without branches. He stands not ten yards from the house. When I first saw him, I was confused. He looks like a cross between a hyena and a double-decker deer. He has mahogany-colored matted hair (that’s hollow, I learned later) and his dogged ears rotate 180° so that he can locate predators, even if they are far away. He’s a vegetarian, sensitive to his environment and willing to defend a cow. (But rutting season is not until September.) http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/moose/

I grew up in Maine but I had previously seen a moose only twice before in my life: Once, while riding in my dad’s old car through northern Maine when I was about ten, Dad said, “A big Buick bombin’ down the road better brake for a bull moose.” And then we saw one.  Fifteen years later, while working for Acadia National Park, I saw a moose standing over the edge of the embankment of the famed Sargent Drive, peering into Somes Sound. She swam away.

The young bull moose has joined the motley crew of usual suspects at my home, Nixie’s Vale, and his presence is accented by the cries of the fabled coydogs and eerie calls of loons.

In my dreams, he is older. A bull moose lurks large and puffing, ten feet tall, more than twice my height. He looms and nudges me gently with his horsey nose-face. He’s unpredictable, unassuming. Not evil but not Mr. Safe Guy either.  The dream dictionary tells me that a bull moose represents “runaway emotions” that might trample me. Apparently a moose in a dream stands for masculine, or yang, energy, and the ability to survive and prosper under any circumstances by means of steady movement forward through life. An elk, or bull moose, refers a dreamer to one’s elders. Moose in dreams represent a long life and longevity.

The young moose probably likes the lichen in my woods and the marshy plants that grow in the nearby pond. He’ll dunk his whole head underwater and browse. His family might be with him but I’ve never seen them. His shoulders will expand to more than five feet across and he’ll be 1000 pounds by next winter. He’s going through the moose equivalent of puberty with the pitch changes in his kazoo-voice, bluffing like the shaggy bell under his chin.

In my moose dream:  I move away as he lumbers toward me like a star-struck dancer. He’s clumsy. When I told my friend about the dreams, she sang: “It moose be loooooove!” I look for the real moose early each morning as the mist rolls across the pond.

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