Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Moose-t Terrifying Thing

Admit it. This scares you.

Gramma Berg's house had a sunroom.
A wonderful spot.
All windows.
And one permanent tenant.
The sunroom was wonderful.
The tenant wasn't. At least to a very small girl.
It was large.
Dark brown.
With great, glassy eyes, a huge nose, a wooly beard.
And large ears.
Oh, yes, and an enormous pair of antlers.
A moose.
The quite obvious fact that it wasn't alive made no difference to its terror factor.
I was certain that, if I went into that room, the great creature would blink its eyes and 'get me'.
Okay, obviously I didn't think that through.
The creature possessed no visible limbs, and for all of my life, had resided in the same place on the wall.
Just exactly how it was supposed to 'get me' we'll never know.
But the truth remains, it terrified me.
And knowing this, my cousins made great sport of daring me to go into the sunroom.
Something which inevitably sent me screaming to some moose-less part of the house.
I loved Grammas house.
The moose and I tolerated each other.
So long as he kept his place, and I could see that place from a distance, we got along fine.
Kinda like a large spider.
But that is another story.
After Gramma passed, the moose was donated and hung where it could scare scores of other people.
Moving forward fifty years . . .
Several members of my family were holidaying in Banff, Alberta, this summer.
We spent a week scrambling about the mountains and wandering through the townsite.
We took the kids to see the 'stuffed animal place'.
Or Banff Museum, as it is officially named.
It houses hundreds of perfectly preserved birds and animals native to the Banff area.
Many of which were present when the museum opened.
In 1903.
On the second floor, it is quite possible to get up close and almost personal with the head of Sir Donald.
A bison.
Several of us were standing, looking at the great animal.
My six-year-old granddaughter peeked out from behind me.
“He scares me,” she whispered, shivering.
“But he's dead,” I said. “He can't hurt you.”
“He's scary,” she maintained.
Quite suddenly, I remembered Gramma's moose. And trembling in fear and delight as my cousins dared me to go into his sunroom.
Full circle.

7 comments:

  1. Personally, I believe that when something is done with it's head it should be given a decent burial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree with you. Who decided that hanging pieces of animals on walls was a good idea? And they're scary.

      Delete
  2. Seeing those stuffed heads always makes me wonder what people did with the rest of the animal...?

    Kinda like in that one 'The Great Race' scene, where the rest of their moose is on the other side of the wall...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm . . . good point.
      P.S. I love that scene! And that movie!

      Delete
  3. Isn't it awesome when you have a moment like that, a reminder of your own childhood:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love where your stories go Diane, I too would be scared of a moose tenant! Thanks for linking up at NOBH. Every blessing, Kelly

    ReplyDelete

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