Moose encounter a close call

Calls of the Wild

Posted: Friday, June 08, 2007

My grandson, Logan, begged to follow me on my morning jaunt around the World Trail by Kenai’s Oiler baseball field. He was jumping on puff balls while I forged ahead in Kathy-Smith-Walk-Your-Fat-Off style, and he was soon a good distance behind.

Halfway around the loop, I looked up to see him 40 yards ahead, waving to me. I thought, “How clever. He took a shortcut across the woods to beat me. I began waving and yelling, “That was smart! You beat me.”

My enthusiasm was short-lived.

We both turned to look down the ravine at the crashing of branches; definitely a large animal. We stood frozen, waiting for it to run away from us, which animals usually do, when suddenly a large moose came charging up the hill.

I yelled at Logan to “RUN!” and was momentarily relieved to see the animal coming toward me. However, after I yelled , and as he began to run, the moose spotted Logan in his bright red coat and began to charge away from me, toward him.

I began chasing the moose, yelling, “Moosey, moosey, over here, over here.”

It worked. The moose turned back toward me as Logan disappeared over the ridge. I hid behind a tree, wondering why the heck this moose was charging instead of following its usual nature to peacefully walk away.

That’s when I spotted it. Right where the moose had now stopped. Exactly in the spot Logan had been standing. A baby moose was lying on the ground. Logan hadn’t been waving at me to tell me he was ahead. He was waving to tell me what he’d found. A tiny newborn lay motionless on the path.

Logan and I met again on the far side of the trail, and through the trees, we watched as the mother licked her twins. The baby that had looked dead on the ground was now standing, not moving, but at least wobbling.

That’s why the mother moose had been so far away from this baby: she had twins and was apparently busy with the other one deeper in the ravine when Logan made his almost ill-fated discovery.

As we walked back across the golf course, avoiding the woods altogether, I became more and more nauseous, piecing together the flash of events, realizing what Logan had miraculously escaped. If the moose hadn’t seen me waving and yelling first, and if Logan had been yelling instead of just waving, she would surely have charged directly into him since he stood inches from her baby, the two young ones blinking curiously eye to eye.

Rebecca Dooley, Kenai

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