Myrna felt like doing somersaults. Instead she leaped out of bed and snuck across the floor. Then peeked out the window.
Living in the country was exciting. And with a pond in the backyard!
First came broad, spoon-shaped antlers through dewy grass. Then a huge Bull Moose came into view.
Cow-pie shaped hooves splashed quietly in the soft mud. Lily pad roots were especially tasty this time of day.
Myrna's favorite birds flew about, Finches, Sparrows, and Blue Jays. Even a Pileated Woodpecker was making his regular visit. They too were getting used to the strange visitor who came each day, from the woods nearby.
The moose didn't mind being watched each day by Myrna. He knew she meant him no harm. Everyone at school, even her parents didn't believe she saw a moose in her back yard each early morning.
But today would be different. Now was the time to put her plan into action. Everyone at home was still asleep. And the moose was busy munching his early breakfast.
Myrna dressed, walked slowly towards the pond and climbed halfway up the Maple tree. Then she tossed a really wide loop reaching around the antlers. The rope settled on his long neck.
The moose thought they were playing a game and followed the little girl. He couldn't fit inside the front door. So Myrna led him through the double sliding doors on the patio.
Hooves clumped across the carpet. They THUMPED up the stairs to her bedroom.
"Did you hear anything, dear?" her father said from the next room.
"Go back to sleep. You must be dreaming," Myrna heard her mom answer.
"You're right," Myrna's father said sleepily. "It sounded like a moose in our house."
"It is a moose!" Myrna shouted from the hallway. "Quick, come see."
They were used to their daughter bringing home fur or feather friends. First, it was a Chick-a-Dee with a damaged wing. Then it was a baby Raccoon. But this time it was a huge, monstrous, Moose!
"Better get some sleep Myrna," they said. "It's only five o'clock in the morning. And please keep that moose quiet until breakfast."
So she jumped into bed, and pulled up the covers. The moose did the same on his side and the bed sagged to the floor. It was too short for his long legs and moose hooves hung over the end.
This was a funny situation, but Myrna didn't laugh. She didn't want to hurt his feelings. He might be a giant to her but he was still her friend.
At breakfast the moose broke his chair. After all, he weighed more than a ton. The moose needed a napkin, so Myrna tied her mom's large apron around his neck.
His mouth was longer than a loaf of French bread. And two gulps later, both loaves disappeared.
But Myrna didn't laugh. She knew it was not polite.
As the school bus arrived each window filled with eyeball-popping faces and wide-open mouths. Myrna stood proudly beside her friend, holding a lead rope.
"It's true!!" Everyone shouted. Myrna does have a Moose!!"
She rushed up the bus steps. But the large moose couldn't squeeze through the door. So Myrna went around the bus and passed his rope through an open window.
Then she held on tightly from inside. It wouldn't do to have her moose run away after all the work getting him here.
Children laughed and pointed as the moose trotted beside the bus. Myrna didn't laugh with them since that would be rude. Besides, she was proud of her Moose. He didn't get angry or anything.
It wasn't long before she found out there was a terrible problem. "No animals in school," said the Principal, "especially a moose."
"ButBut," Myrna stammered.
"Rules and rules," the Principal said, looking up at the friendly furry face.
"But, he's special!" everyone howled. "He's a friendly Moose!"
"NoNo, and NO," the Principal said. "Besides, he might scratch the hallway floors. Or knock decorations from the walls, or..."
"Fall on his tummy!" children laughed. Myrna wondered if she made a mistake bringing him here.
"Well, alright," the Principal finally said, with a shake of his head. "He can stay outside for this morning only."
Myrna opened the classroom window, pulled her lasso through, and tied an end to her desk. Now there would be no wild moose on the loose.
The moose poked his head in, and watched everyone working. They didn't have much room to move around, just like him, he thought. If only he was back in the pond.
At recess a boy pulled the moose's flap of skin that hung beneath his throat.
"It's called a 'bell,' said Myrna.
"Hey Grandpa!" one boy shouted.
Everyone wrestled for space in the lineup for a ride on the moose. After climbing onto his back they yelled "Giddy-up." Except, he wasn't a horse. Nope. He was just a moose, a friendly moose.
Some children were doing chin-ups on his antlers. Others slowly slid down his sides. After all, he was almost eight feet tall.
His moose call sounded like, "OUAAAHH." Teachers took snapshots of the huge animal. Children made fun of his short tail.
Myrna knew he missed his home in the woods. And being here wasn't fun.
Finally it was time to go home for lunch. Myrna climbed out the school window to get her moose. She tried to pull him to the school bus already filled with students.
The moose began to trot, then picked up speed, dragging Myrna behind him. Now she didn't need the school bus. Instead, he was pulling her home.
The moose rushed past startled people on the sidewalk. Then hurried past a crowd gathered at MacDonald's. He even trotted past a second school bus, with Myrna hanging onto the rope like a kite at the end.
The moose didn't stop running until he arrived at Myrna's house. He headed for the backyard pond, knowing a meal of leaves and twigs were waiting.
Finally, there was peace and quiet. No more laughing children. No more jokes. And no pointing fingers at his tail, or his bell, or his wide antlers.
There were only trees, a pond and Myrna listening to the moose give a happy grunt. She climbed up the maple tree, then reached over and removed the lasso.
Her moose waded into the pond. After snacking, he looked back at Myrna before strolling into the deeper woods.
She was certain he would come back. And she was sure of something else.
Now everyone knew about Myrna's Moose.
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher 2005
All messages for Richard or Esther can be sent directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org. They enjoy reading comments on their work. Readers are welcome to visit their website at: www.wsprog.com/rp/. Free downloads also available. They live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Many blessings on your loved ones.