Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shirley's moose.

Moose nuclear family, reunited thanks to cowboy.

My friend Shirley is a school teacher in the interior of British Columbia. I met her for the first time in more than two years at a wedding in Vancouver and she told the following story:

Shirley and another teacher were driving from a small town where they teach back to another small town where they live. Somewhere along the way they saw an animal in the ditch at the side of the road, next to where the land rose up as a steep, gravelly slope. Shirley pulled over. It was a moose calf, trying to scramble up the gravel, but losing its footing and sliding back down. Its mother was at the top, where the gravel ended and the forest began, “making encouraging moose noises,” said Shirley. The calf tried repeatedly to scramble up to mamma, to no avail. It always ended up back down in the ditch. The mother sidled down the slope and tried to lead the calf farther along, to where the forest line dipped down to the road. The calf followed, and then the mother entered the forest and climbed quickly up to where she had been before. The calf, however, instead of doing likewise, ran back down the road to where it had been before and went back to its futile scrabbling. It became fatigued, and seemed doomed to remain in the ditch.

A pickup drove past. It stopped and backed up. A cowboy got out.

“How do you know he was a cowboy?” I asked.

Shirley said, “He was wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots and he was pulling on these long leather gloves.”

The cowboy stepped down into the ditch and scooped up the moose calf. Digging his cowboy heels in deep, he slowly struggled up the gravelly slope, to where mama was waiting in the trees. He put the calf down, and it and mama scampered off into the forest.

The cowboy slid back down the slope. Shirley asked if he hadn’t been afraid that the mother moose might attack him.

The cowboy said, “I was watchin’ her to see if she’d rush me. I’ve been rushed by a moose before, but she didn’t seem to want to, so it worked out okay.”
Then he got in his pickup and drove away.

3 comments:

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

What a great story. Cowboys are good for something. We have a few of the Texas variety in my family.

Shibaguyz said...

Too funny... cowboys here too. We'll... I USED to be before I became city-fied (is that a word??) and Jason's Grandpa was a pretty famous cowboy from Wyoming. Can't say we've ever heard of any of our cowboys rescuing a moose before though... LOL

themanicgardener said...

That's marvelous, right down to the iconic get-the-job-done-then-drive-off-into-the-sunset bit. Okay, I added the sunset, but still...
--Kate