When I was seventeen years old, I was canoeing across a lake in northern Maine. The lake was so large that I couldn’t see the shore on three sides. The water was still, the air humid, the sun high in the sky. The only sounds were the distant twitters of birds and the gentle splashes made from oars striking the water.
The out of nowhere, across our bow, a moose swam by.
Well over a mile from the nearest shore, a moose paddled by, calm and relaxed in its strokes.
I couldn’t believe it. And when I told my wife about the encounter years later, she didn’t believe me either, until I directed her to the Internet and some amazing facts about moose.
First, moose can swim great distances and have been known to migrate from island to island, sometimes crossing ocean water in order to do so. In fact, the moose on the Isle Royale in Lake Superior have been spotted on nearby smaller islands around the main island because they swim across to give birth. This allows for them to give birth and raise their young without the threat of wolves preying on their young when they are vulnerable. Once the calves are physically mature, they are able to swim back, and are then able to better protect themselves from wolves, as they are then in their prime years.
Moose have even been found in the belly of killer whales off the coast of Alaska.
These are just a few of the amazing facts that I have discovered about moose since seeing that moose swim in from of my canoe twenty years ago. I’ve actually written a children’s book about moose as a result of my encounter and my subsequent research, and perhaps someday, I will try to have this book, along with the many other children’s books that I have written, published.
But I have THE CHICKEN SHACK on my plate at the moment and another book just begging to be written, so they’ll have to wait.
But I was reminded about my moose encounter today when I was directed to this photograph of our twenty-sixth President, Teddy Roosevelt, riding on the back of a moose in order to ford a river.
More than likely the photograph was staged in order to promote Roosevelt’s failed attempt at launching his Bull Moose party, but still bad-ass nonetheless.