April 17, 2012

Ugly Andy and A Case for Every Family Getting A Moose Of Their Very Own Which They Can Train Or Ride Or Whatever.

You can lead a moose to water...

Or you can stand on the side of the road with Mr. UpCountry and your sister and watch a moose approach a puddle all on its own. (Which is what I did.)

My sister and Mr. UpCountry named him Ugly Andy. He's the first moose of the season, so they wanted to start off the naming with one that starts with 'A' (like they do with hurricanes). Mr. UpCountry suggested Andy (which, incidentally, is the name of our pet gecko) and my sister said, as a means of clarifying between gecko and moose, that we should call him Ugly Andy.

Because that right there is one mangy, ugly moose. He's not very old and his antlers are just little nubs near his ears. He's losing his winter coat, so it makes him look scruffy.

He was hanging around all day yesterday and so far we've spotted him twice today. We've had a couple game wardens in the area too, so we don't know if they're trying to tranquilize him and get him away from "civilization" or or whether they're here for some totally unrelated reason. We all have our theories about the motives behind game wardens' actions (along with everyone else poking around our hill).

I hope Ugly Andy finds another place to frequent, because he could get hit by a car here. We told him, but he seemed preoccupied with the puddle.

A Case For Every Family Getting A Moose Of Their Own

I live in the Aroostook County, the largest county in the US east of the Mississippi (it's larger than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined). Among Mainers, the Aroostook County is known simply as "the County." I am across-the-board labeled as a County girl, no matter where I go in the state.

The County's population is almost 72,000 (over an expanse of 6600 square miles). Pretty sparse, but it leaves a lot of room for nature to thrive. The County's known for its dense population of moose, deer, bear, and other wild game. Turkeys weren't on the list until the last couple of years, but they seem to be migrating upstate. Good for us!

The state of Maine's moose population is approximately 29,000 and most of these live in the County (the farther south you go, the greater the human population, and the less natural, comfortable environment for moose to live in).

I'm thinking: at 29,000 moose in the state, and almost 72,000 people in the County, that equates to one moose for every 2.5 people (which, in my mind, constitutes a family). By eliminating the large elderly population we have up here (who are probably not very interested in this endeavor), I'm thinking there are more than enough moose in the County for every family to be able to claim one as their own.

If I had a moose, I would train it as a draft horse. I'd have him haul wood around the lot or eating the weeds out of my garden. I'd ride him to town. Moose have a reputation for being stupid (mostly because they refuse to move out of the road). I think, with a little time and patience, we could turn that smudge on their characters around and give them a fresh, new face!

Animals, working with humans, in harmony! Doesn't it sound marvelous?
(Would a horse saddle double as a moose saddle?)


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