Baby moose, and a contest

(Spoiler Alert: A yummy giveaway lurks at the end of this post.)

Ever have one of those days where you’re ready to leave the house but something nags at your mind so you walk back to the bathroom or kitchen as if you’ve forgotten something even though you haven’t?

That happened to me yesterday. I was all set to go to the gym when something made me walk back through the living room. And guess what I saw when I walked past the large living room window? A mother and baby moose in our backyard, helping themselves (i.e., tearing the heck out) the last of our fireweed.

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What is it about moose that is so endearing? Maybe it’s because they are ridiculous looking with their knobby knees and long, skinny heads. And they walk funny. They lurch forward on their skinny and ungainly legs, their backsides swaying to keep up. They remind me of teenagers trying to look cool.

The baby moose, which I hesitate to call a baby since it was as large as a pony, walked right up to the house (I actually took all of these photos from behind the safety of our sliding glass door) and stared at me, as if inviting me out to play.

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Come out and play, Cinthia. Please?

The mother wasn’t so friendly. Mother moose are notorious for their protective instincts and I’ve been charged three times by moose mamas angry when I’ve unintentionally run or walked between them and their calves.

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Mama moose, eating the fireweed seed.
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I don’t like you Cinthia, but I’ll gladly stuff my face with your fireweed.

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The moose stayed in the yard about fifteen minutes and I sat by the window, mesmerized. I’ve lived in Alaska over twenty-five years and I’ve seen hundreds, probably thousands, of moose, yet time it feels magical, as if the boundaries between city life and wilderness have blurred.

My partner saw the same moose early this morning, munching the crab apples off our trees.

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Apples! In our yard! Stingy, bitter crab apples, but apples nevertheless.

We call these moose “our” moose. Because they visit our yard so much (and our yard is a moose paradise, mainly because we do nothing to maintain the backyard, it’s a wild place of birch trees and tall grasses and all sorts of yummy moose treats), we feel a sense of pride each time we see them, as if they have aligned themselves with us when, in reality, they don’t know or care that we exist.

But talking of moose, I’ve decided to host a Moose Contest (a moosetest??)

Here’s the question, from my novel, Dolls Behaving Badly:

Q: What is the name of the moose that Barry feeds in Chapter Six? (Hint: It’s in the beginning of the chapter, under the second entry.)

Anyone who guesses right wins decadent Alaskan chocolate bars and other goodies plus a signed copy of Dolls Behaving Badly.

Please don’t leave your answer as a comment or everyone else will also know the answer and I’ll be mailing chocolate bars out to people all day.

Instead, email your answers at: cinthiaritchie@aol.com with Moose Contest as the subject heading.

Contest ends at midnight Labor Day, Sept. 2.

Good luck!

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