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I've begged off from the moose hunt so far this year. It's not so much weather, first pouring rain, now snow - Sam didn't go out on the soggiest days either.
I have come to know evenings well. I'm out there every night now, sometimes just for half an hour, though that's rare, usually for an hour or longer, trudging along very slowly behind my old dog.
I was just standing around, minding my own business as usual. Soaking up moisture in the gritty soil, eating sunlight, having the wind twirl my leaves while I felt for vibrations in the ground.
I know the feeling of gloating over money only too well - of lovingly eyeing the big piles of cash and running a finger over thick wads of bank notes.
The best excuse I've found so far for sitting around lazy and staring at the scenery is to say that I'm studying the land. And it's true.
Once those chilly early mornings of venturing out with your rifle, of moaning like a cow moose in heat and sitting there in anticipation, waiting for the "uh" of a bull to come through the quiet of dawn, have paid off and you've shot and butchered, felt g
If Nooka were a person instead of a dog, I'd say she has an eating disorder. Has had one since she was little, in fact.
Stoking up the woodstove every morning and making the first trip to the outhouse in the chilly dark, hunched over in my winter jacket, with only the dim glow of the first snow as light - it won't take long anymore.
It began like an earthquake. The cabin was vibrating, at first just slightly, then more and more urgently. I felt it through the soles of my feet, coming up in waves through the plywood floor.
One of my dearest dreams and visions is about to come true. Not the one about having an expediter for all the shopping, no. The one about warm water falling down - inside the cabin.
A loud bellow, so deep it digs right into my stomach, comes from the trail ahead of me. Whistle, call back the barking dog, get out the bear spray, and grab the other two dogs is what I do automatically, simultaneously.
I hope I don't jinx it now by writing about it. You know how that goes - you're bragging to your visitor from down south about your sure-fire fishing spot, the unbelievably huge catches that are almost guaranteed there.
A loud crack came from the bushes opposite of me, then a moose cow sprang out of the willows.
'Bring mousetraps. Some fruit and veggies, but don't forget the mousetraps. They are all disappearing.
Sitting in a chair, immobilized by a giant sheet strapped to my neck while a stranger wields sharp scissors by my head has never ranked among my favourite pastimes.
Underneath me the forest and mountains had long given way to the quiltwork of flat fields, then forest again and tiny lakes, until the grasp of roads and houses swallowed up most of the land.
The entrance gaped open here and there, like a smile missing some teeth. Dark tunnels disappeared mysteriously deep into the pile of mud and sticks the beavers used to construct the lodge.
Moose are the cure to burned roof of the mouth syndrome, an affliction well know to pizza lovers. That short, sharp sting of pain as you greedily bite down on the still sizzling cheese and bury your teeth in the hot toppings and tomato sauce.
Where a translucent morning skin of ice covered the water, Milan stood with pricked ears, his gaze mesmerized by the small shape darting over the sandy ground. Oblivious to anything but new oxygen and light, the tiny fish scuttled closer to shore.
As a combined Mother's Day and birthday gift, announcing my plan to finally emerge from the wilderness and visit my parents would be hard to beat, I thought.