cannonball

24 Mar

Anyone who knows me, even the least little bit, knows that I am totally a morning person.

Don’t be alarmed at that noise you hear in the background. That’s just the sound of my mother falling over from rolling her eyes so hard.

What?

Okay, fine, I’m not a morning person. At all. And anyone who has spent even a little bit of time with me knows this. My mother spent most of my adolescent years watching me go from zero to shouting when she’d wake me up in the morning before she left for work. (It’s quite a testament to Mom, really, that she simply went the “ignore” route rather than the “kill her in her sleep” route.) My college roommates and friends would simply stand back and watch, seeing it all as utter amusement the way I would bang around half-blind and irate, glaring at any people, chairs, or statues of the Virgin Mary that got in my way as I stumbled to an early class. Captain Deb once told me gleefully, “You’re really Satan in the morning!”

Why am I telling you this?

Because there was a goddamned moose in the backyard.

Ta-Da!

The end.

What?

Fine.

So, on my last morning in Alaska, when my body clock had just gotten used to the time change, and I was thinking that I’d enjoy a lovely lie-in instead of popping awake at 8 am, Deb burst into the guest bedroom.

“Moll, get up, there’s a moose in the backyard.”

I leapt out of bed, grabbed my camera, and ran downstairs (and magically, did not fall in doing so, either). I threw on a pair of hard-soled slippers and clomped out to the back porch, peering over the fence. Sure enough, there he was, a massive moose standing (to him) ankle-deep in the snow, delicately nibbling the bark off one of the trees in the field behind Deb’s house.

We watched for awhile, the dogs going crazy, the moose oblivious as he ate away, then delicately, like he was in absolutely no hurry, the cold didn’t bother him a bit, he made his way down the field, stopping at other bare trees in between.

Did you know that a moose’s heart weights nine pounds?

It’s true.

It’s the size of a cannonball.

My sister told me that.

She’s way smart.

Later, when Deb and I were driving to the airport, we talked about the moose. Well, that’s a lie. We talked about me and the moose.

“I’ve known you for over a decade,” Deb said, “and I’ve never seen you move that fast in the morning.”

I would have been insulted at the utter shock in her voice, except….Huh. Well. Deb’s known me a long time. She speaks nothing but the truth. I’ve accepted this. You should, too.

“I was afraid I was going to miss the moose!” I responded.

“You jumped out of bed so fast, I seriously thought for a minute that you were jumping out of bed to punch me for waking you up,” Deb said.

“No, no,” I assured her. “I wouldn’t hit you. Not when there’s a moose in the backyard.”

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