Moose are so big.
Maybe even bigger than that, as I was sure was the big bull on the survey path I was following.
I was sometimes awestruck when I got out into Maine's great northern forest. This day I was kind of tiptoeing peacefully along. The early afternoon was beautiful. I was surrounded by beautiful woods.
Suddenly a big black bull moose stepped out onto the line 100 feet in front of me. Startled about half out of my wits, I stopped dead. He turned and trotted up the survey line ahead off me, leaving me standing there, my heart in my mouth which basically prevented any movement.
After a bit, I stopped shaking and moved on up the survey line, where the bull had gone. As I calmed down a bit and was puffing up a hill, it happened again.
The same big black bull stepped out onto the line, glanced my way -- hey, that geek's still following me -- and trotted farther up the line.
That bull must have read the Bull Moose's Behavior Guide around Geeks by -- geeze, I forget the author's name.
.... I was standing near a big spruce, looking at the roots of a blowdown that was about fifty feet away, when I saw a movement. A young bull -- whose brownish color gave away his youthfulness -- stepped out from behind the root mass and started toward me.
It's one thing to be nervous about a bull moose when he's trotting off ahead of you. It's another thing when a bull moose is walking toward you. I remained motionless, partly because being scared stiff kind of excludes running and partly because there is no way a scared stiff man can outrun a moose.
I remained behind my tree, but when he was within a dozen feet of my hiding place, I decided enough was enough.
"Why don't you go home and enjoy your Sunday dinner?" I suggested quietly so as not to frighten him into charging.
"I am home," he didn't respond but may have. "Why don't you go home?"
"I'd love to," I didn't reply since he hadn't actually spoken, "but it's hard to walk -- or run -- when you're scared stiff."
He remained where he was, staring at me, turning me into stationary rubber.
Finally, my feet suggested we head up the hill into the thicker woods and go around this big guy. So we did, all of me. Up the hill, not looking back to see if Big Youthful Guy was following. Finally, when I was a couple of hundred feet up the hill, I looked back. I didn't see him, so I cautiously made my way back down to the survey line somewhat ahead of where we had had our Sunday chat.
I don't think this big youngster had read Don't Scare or Talk to Geeks in Your Turf by -- oh, uh, same problem. Forgot who wrote it.
Nervously, I finished following the survey line and started back down another trail toward the safety of our Toyota a few miles away. On a steep downhill at a curve, I was finally starting to relax, when two chipmunks appeared dead ahead. All three of us jumped just under a mile.
I made it back to the car unscathed and have lived to meet too many more moose in the woods, in our yard, and along roads.
None of them scared me stiff, well not that scared. Well, there may have been one or two or ten.
And none have talked to me, although I've talked to a few, suggesting they get out of my way so I could go home.
To date, they all have, which may mean they had read Get Off the Trail the Geek is Following by -- you know who.
I may follow this tale of the Geek and the Moose with more tales of the big dumb-looking guys, who may have read a book they should have read or haven't.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton M. Gross Copyright 2013