I Need to Get Bigger

The cow moose that visited our property a couple of times recently (see Maybe I’m Not Wasting My Time After All and Moose Hide) has become a bit of a problem in the neighborhood. Word trickles in from neighbors that she’s hitting most of the gardens on our peninsula and both sides of the bay, our side and the road side.

Oddly, she seems to have developed a taste for onions. She drove our nearest neighbor to harvest her garden early, and she brought over a lot of onion tops for us, which we’ve put to excellent use. When she arrived back on our property around 3:00 p.m. Thursday, we caught her cropping one of our many bunches of chives.

Unfortunately, another rumor about this moose appears true as well: she’s getting more aggressive. It seems she’s growing tired of all these annoying people yelling at her while she’s trying to eat.

She's becoming a familiar figure on our property (Phto: Mark A. Zeiger).

She’s becoming a familiar figure on our property (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

I stepped outside and yelled at her when I saw her. She started to go north along the beach, thought better of it, and turned back to me. She raised her hackles and started growling. This is not the shrinking violet I’d encountered previously!

I ramped up the noise level and grabbed a walking stick from the porch for self defense. She changed direction and went through the front yard, passing the bedroom window, where Michelle started yelling, surprising her into a faster retreat.

The moose went down the path to the boathouse, then stopped. I increased my volume and began whacking trees and other objects with my stick. Finally, she disappeared up the cliff behind the boathouse, and we stood down.

Since then, I’ve been strategizing for her return.

Like virtually all animals, moose fear size. Consider, the first defense instinct of almost any animal, from the smallest kitten to the largest bear, is to try to look larger.

I stand a little over 6 feet, but I’m a shrimp compared to a moose. I need to make myself bigger to intimidate this garden raider.

The easiest trick, which can work against bears as well, is to grab the bottom of one’s coat and flip it up behind and above one’s head. I’m thinking of taking this idea further, attaching a large, dark piece of material between two long sticks, that I can open up above me to make me look huge. If I can do that, I should get some respect from the moose.

If that doesn’t work, it’s back to Van Halen I (see Music to Annoy the Savage Beast).

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