It is another Sunday at Indian Pond camp. Ma fried eggs and potato for breakfast earlier and we are sitting on the porch. The sun has been up just a little while and the pond sparkles like diamonds in the early morning. Curt and I perch on the porch railing and are glad our parents are home today. My father rocks in his chair, coffee cup in hand, making plans to go fishing up in the corner of the pond by ” a big brush pile.”
Suddenly there is a thrashing sound in the woods followed by a splash of water around the bend in the cove. My father says he’ll bet his last dime it’s a moose and soon a big bull moose comes in sight , his mouth full with pond weeds hanging and dripping. Dad tells us to be quiet and Ma says she hopes he stays where he is. Curt and I look at the kitchen door for a quick escape, if need be.
The moose is walking around the edge of the bog right toward the camp and ends up on the shore still munching his bog weeds. Dad thinks he should see how close he can get to the moose. He has read that it is possible to get a few feet away if one is careful. Ma reminds him that he will do no such thing and that his reading is going to get him killed one of these days. I can feel my heart pounding in my throat.
The moose stands and chews as Dad walks very slowly down the two front stone steps. He continues to ignore him as he takes two more very short steps. Ma is now on her feet and tells him to come back right now and that he has four kids to support. Dad shushes Ma and there is something about the shush that arouses the moose . Up swings the massive head and stares Dad in the eye. I know I should take my brother and run inside the camp, but neither of us can take our eyes off our father a few feet from this huge animal. Dad takes his hat off ; the moose paws the ground and makes a huge snorting sound. Ma asks him if he is crazy just as the moose takes one step toward Dad, who in turn, jumps in the air and high-tails it up the steps on to the porch. The moose, apparently contented that he has established his territory, snorts and lumbers off into the woods.
My brother and I just look at each other. Ma tells Dad if he keeps up these shenanigans she will burn all his books. Dad sits in the rocking chair, grins and taps his foot in rhythm. Life at the little camp is never boring.