I’ve been missing Brian, my local moose, lately. I saw a lot of him in the fall, but I haven’t seen him for several weeks. It’s dark early now, and I keep thinking to myself that he could be right outside my door and I’d never know. But tonight, I knew.
I went out of town for Thanksgiving, and before I left, I meant to take out the little bowl of fruit and vegetable scraps that was ready to toss on my compost pile, but I forgot. So when I got home, I noticed the contents of the bowl had gotten a little “ripe” in my absence, so I took the bowl and set it outside the back door in the snow, planning on dumping it after I unpacked. And once again, I forgot.
So, tonight, I was sitting here happily typing away, and the dog raised her head from sleep and let out one of those little, short truncated barks. More like a “buf!” But that was it. I didn’t think much of it. Then a minute later I hear someone knocking on the sliding glass door. It’s highly unusual for anyone to knock on that door, especially past midnight, and the door is right next to my computer, so it startled me, and I swung my head around. There, standing, framed perfectly in the glass of the sliding door was enormous Brian, no more than 5 feet from where I sit! I almost jumped out of my skin. I don’t know who I expected to be knocking on my door in the dead of night, but it surely wasn’t a 1500 pound bull moose! Then, I remembered the compost! Sure enough he was trying to get the frozen plant scraps out of the bottom of the plastic bowl that was just about the perfect size to fit over his nose. As he licked the frozen veg-sicle that was stuck to the bottom, his head was moving back and forth, causing his antlers to bonk bonk bonk on the glass.
I raced for the camera, of course, and managed to get some pictures. The flash didn’t seem to bother him too much. Then I sat on the floor to the side of the door and watched the compost antics. He became less and less successful in extracting his snack the deeper into the bowl he got. Finally in frustration he started to stomp on the bowl, which helped, as frozen chunks of carrot and apple core popped out into the snow. Then he’d nibble them up with his lips and stomp again. He’d stop periodically and just stare at me trying to decide whether I was something to worry about. I’m sure he wondered what all the flashing lights were about, but he seemed willing to put up with it in order to enjoy the wonderful frozen treat he’d managed to find.
He stayed a good long while; long after the dog’s hackles had gone down. He stood like a sentinal, watching me intently with great brown eyes even as I began to type this nighttime thread. It looks like he’s gone now. But I have a feeling he will be back, hoping to find another meal at his secret eatery. I won’t make that mistake again, or I’m likely to have antlers crashing through my door at all hours of the night!
The Open Thread is waiting, as always, in the Night Kitchen!