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Oh $%#$, that’s a Moose!

Fiona Grisswell’s column to the Free Press
Over the May Long Weekend Lower Mainland photographer Williams Snow captured a cow moose and her calf near Lone Butte. (William Snow photo)

Moose are big.

Rather an obvious statement but after one trotted out in front of me while driving to work the other morning…

Moose are big.

I was cruising along Highway 24 when I saw her (or his?) head pop out of the trees.

Now, I am used to deer wandering onto the road in the mornings, so I tend to be a little cautious when driving that particular highway. For a little while last summer I began to feel like a deer magnet as they seemed to be everywhere.

But this particular morning?

Oh *&#*, that’s a moose!

As my brain registered the terrifying thought I quickly checked the rearview mirror. Going left seemed like a bad choice and I wasn’t sure the Jeep and I would be any happier hitting the ditch along that particular portion of the road.

Decision made, I hammered on the brakes as he (she?) emerged from the trees.

My heart was pounding and I am pretty sure my eyes looked like one of those bug-eyed cartoon characters you see on TV.

I’ve seen moose before but the sheer size of the animal spanning my side of the highway was overwhelming: The horse I had been petting on Sunday looked like a pony in comparison.

His ground-eating trot quickly carried him to the far side of the road where he went down into the ditch and disappeared from view.

Visions of mangled moose and jeep faded from my mind. It took a few moments more for the adrenalin rush to drain away and my heart to resume its normal beat.

That’s when the what-ifs raised their ugly head.

What if I had not seen him?

What if I was going too fast to stop in time?

What if someone had been riding my bumper?

What if it had been winter?

What if, what if, what if…

I squashed my overactive imagination back inside the box.

No harm done and the moose and I both continued our separate ways.

But it was a good reminder of how things can change in an instant when you are behind the wheel. Especially out here in the boonies, where you can never be sure what else besides traffic you might find around the next corner.

Pay attention, slow down and get to where you are going.

I know that sounds a little preachy, but to me and the moose - it’s just good old common sense.

Have a safe and happy summer!

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Fiona Grisswell

About the Author: Fiona Grisswell

I graduated from the Writing and New Media Program at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George in 2004.
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