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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: Moosey, Moosey
By Sheri Gordon


Today I’m going moose hunting. Oh, relax…I’m not talking about actually killing a moose—I just want, no need, to see one in the wild.

Before we embarked on our fifteen hour car ride to Yellowstone National Park, I made a wildlife checklist. (Along with my packing checklist, food checklist, snack checklist, lodging checklist, foliage checklist, and car games checklist. I like, no need, lists.) As of last night, everything had been checked off my wildlife list, with the exception of the elusive moose. Bald eagle. Check. Black bear. Check. Grizzly bear. Check. Pronghorn elk. Check. Bison. Check. And, finally, the infamous Druid wolf pack. Big, unexpected check.

We have one more day in Yellowstone, and one animal left to conquer. 5:30 a.m. the alarm buzzes. Maybe I don’t really need to see a moose. After all, we did see the wolves, and that’s a rare sight. Okay, that’s settled—no moose. Oh drat, now I have to use the restroom. Go back to sleep, go back to sleep. It doesn’t work. Now that I’m up, we might as well go moose hunting.

I rouse my husband, who is up and chipper in a matter of moments. (A moose sighting is on the top of his personal to-do list.) Next, we shake awake our two teenage boys, who are not so excited about hunting the mysterious moose. We tell them they’re more than welcome to stay behind…they can look at our pictures later. We hear them convincing each other that this may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience (we’ve pounded that mantra into their heads this entire trip), so up and at ‘em they are.

By 6:00 a.m., we’re dressed in appropriate moose hunting attire, and heading to the perfect moose hunting location. Being a consummate web surfer, and not wanting to waste a single moment of valuable vacation time, I have thoroughly researched the most effective methods for spotting the various wildlife on my list. Feeling pretty smug about my moose strategy—after all, we’ve seen every other animal on the list, haven’t we?—I feel confident that I have us completely prepared for a successful morning of moose sightings.

As we drive to the potential moose sighting location, I impart my moose sighting wisdom on the other passengers in the vehicle.

Look for moose along the water’s edge—eating from marshy vegetation. Only bull moose have antlers. Watch for female moose (cows) with their calves. Stay still and quiet, and be prepared for a long wait.

As we approach our destination, I distribute the requisite binoculars. We’ll have two people searching through binoculars, and two sets of eyes scanning the vast horizon.

We exit the car, find some brush for cover, and settle in to…wait. And watch. And wait.

“I’m cold.”

“I told you to bring your heavier jacket. Get the blanket from in the car. It’s green—it’ll blend in.”

We continue to wait. And watch. And wait.

“I’m hungry.”

“Sandwiches are in the cooler, but no chips—they’re too noisy.”

We continue to wait. And watch. And wait.

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

“There’re plenty of bushes, and no one else is out here this early.”

We continue to wait. And watch. And wait. And wait some more.

“Are you sure this is the right spot?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Remember what I read? Quote…moose hunting requires planning and patience…end-quote.”

“But sweetheart, we’ve been out here over an hour.”

“Okay, then, maybe it’s time to try the moose call.”

“The moose call?”

“That’s what the web site said. Female moose sometimes have a second mating cycle.”

“That’s more information than I need, but okay, I’m game. Get it? Moose? Game?”

“Yes, hon, I get it.”

“I’m guessing the moose call probably isn’t, ‘Here moosey, moosey, moosey?’”

“Very funny. No…you have to sound like a cow in heat.”

“Oh, yeah, right.”

The boys start doing their best impression of a moose mating call. (To this day I don’t know how seventeen year old boys would possibly know what a female moose in heat sounds like…but it sounded convincing to me.)

I’d like to report that the moose mating call worked, and that our persistence and patience paid off. But, alas, no moose sighting. Which leaves me with an unfinished checklist, which is worse than no checklist at all. So, it will be back to Yellowstone, or some other moose country. But this time, I’ll practice my moose mating calls before we go.

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This article has been read 965 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/29/08
This just made me laugh and laugh--from the lists (which I could really relate to) to the moose calls (which I imagined in the funniest possible, toot-like way). Great title, too...fun entry all around.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/29/08
Such a well prepared mom with a list and an answer for everything! This was fun to read. Your underlying humor is wonderful.
Glynis Becker08/30/08
Great entry. What a lot of fun!
Chely Roach08/31/08
This was hilarious. "I like, no need lists." Too funny, too true. What a fun entry. Loved it.
Yvonne Blake 08/31/08
Ha, Ha, Ha! Love it!
My mother says she doesn't believe there are moose in Maine because in 30 years she's yet to see one. Maybe she needs to call them, "Here, Moosey, Moosey!"
Pamela Kliewer08/31/08
This was great fun! Well written and just plain delightful.
Dee Yoder 08/31/08
List?: Check! Yes, I live by lists, too...and often need to write on my list: "Take grocery list". This is so funny! I waited outside in my yard once for more than hour for the "deer family" that my neighbor insists comes between our houses each morning in the winter. Been here 17 years and so far, no deer family to be found. Yeah-we list people are certifiably nuts...we'll do anything to get to make that check mark.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/31/08
Sounds like our family vacations. great job with the humor and the descriptions.
Patricia Turner08/31/08
Wonder how you got these 17 year old boys to do moose mating calls - don't think mine would, but maybe he just needed a twin. Your subtle humor is excellent!
LaNaye Perkins08/31/08
Oh, this was funny! I enjoyed every single word of it! Well done!
Lynda Schultz 09/01/08
As one who comes from moose country, I laughed all the way through your story. Up north, we don't have to look for them—we have to avoid not getting in their way! Well done.
Leah Nichols 09/01/08
I love that they were all trying to decide whether they wanted that once-in-a-lifetime experience! Great job capturing the classic family vacation.
Betsy Markman09/01/08
This was great fun, and I liked the fact that it didn't end with the expected "our-patience-paid-off-and-we-saw-the-moose" ending. It was all very real and believable.

Just one note...pronghorns are antelopes, not elk.
Catrina Bradley 09/01/08
Fun story! I like the un-predictable ending - not spotting the moose.
Scott Sheets09/02/08
Fun read! I suppose a Rocky and Bullwinkle rerun wouldn't suffice for your checklist?
Joshua Janoski09/02/08
I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone and see a moose (the park isn't too far from where I live in Colorado). So just the subject matter alone was enough to interest me in this story. From there, you took me on the moose hunting adventure with you, and I could see the lists and hear the mating calls in my head. Very fun entry!

Thank you for sharing.
LauraLee Shaw09/04/08
Hey Sheri, Congrats on another Editor's Choice!!! Bravo!
Joy Faire Stewart09/04/08
This is hilarious and love the details. Congratulations on your EC!
Jason Swiney09/04/08
There is always one member of the family who doesn't understand that vacations are for relaxing, definitely the MC in this tale. Great capturing of the average family, but I'm sure on the next Moose hunt the MC will go alone. A pleasure to read. Congrats on the EC!
Julie Seeto09/05/08
Ah, lists - yes, couldn't live without them! Your MC sounds very familiar - lol!
Great read and very real ending. Congrats on your EC.
Beth LaBuff 09/06/08
Sheri, this is just over-the-top hilarious!! Super congrats on your EC.

(p.s. I had a cat named "Moosey" many years ago. :) )