Have you ever read the Little House on the Prairie books?
Remember in Little House in the Big Woods when Pa is out hunting or something and Ma goes out at night to milk Sookie, the cow? *pretty sure Jersey Shore stole that name.*
She goes out to the pen and can't open the gate because Sookie is in the way so she starts slapping the cow and trying to get her out of the way.
Only it wasn't the cow.
I kind of had one of those kinds of moments on Monday night. It went something like this:
Monday nights I volunteer at a local therapeutic riding center. I'm usually there for about 2-3 hours depending on how much work there is to do during or in between lessons. That said, it's usually been dark (or close to dark now as spring approaches) when I leave. Monday night was no different and I had spent a little time after lessons finishing up some stalls. As I turned out the last lesson horses to their paddocks, I could see the family of deer in the field next door alternately grazing and frolicking. Turning to walk back to the barn I noticed Fiddle, the large 16-plus-hand, bay, Standard-bred (ie: big horse) standing in the corner of the paddock by himself watching the deer's antics. In the barn, the instructor and I closed up doors and left the barn locking it behind us, chatting as we moved to our cars. While we stood there talking a minute or two in the growing dusk, I looked over to the field where the deer were.
"Oh great!" I exclaimed, in an exasperated tone. "Fiddle's gotten out."
Sure enough, there was Fiddle in the field, standing next to the fence, grazing along side the deer.
"The hot-wire must be down" I commented as we stood there for a moment, thinking that could be the only way he could have gotten out. (Either that or he had jumped the fence...he was a OTT *off-the-track* Standard-bred and pretty athletic I'd been told).
I put my things down preparing to go back to the barn, get a halter and leadrope to bring him back, mentally going through how we were going to get him back through the down hot-wire and then reset the fence, all in the quickly gathering darkness.
We took about 5 steps forward and as we did, Fiddle moved a little, changing the direction of his grazing.
We stopped cold.
"Umm...uhh....that's NOT Fiddle." I said slowly.
"THAT is a moose."
Sure enough, what looked like a large bay horse in the little light that was there, was really a young moose, grazing calmly with a cohort of his ruminant counter-parts.
We stepped back, both laughing a little nervously, thankful that we hadn't gone any closer or had gone straight to get that halter and leadrope and marched out to "bring Fiddle back".
What can I say? Life in the Great White North is never boring. I've seen my first live moose in person and lived to tell the tale.