There are smarter things to do than irritating a Bull Moose getting his breakfast!
A man has to get up early to be in time for the lessons a Bull Moose will give him!
I was wrangling dudes and packing up in Wyoming. Part of the job was to go find the horses in the morning. So I’d be in the saddle by 5am to go a looking.
Not a bad time I’m here to say. Mists rising off the water. Sand Hill Cranes gliding down the course of the Snake river. I could hear a Loon somewhere off in the distance. It really makes a man happy he’s living a Cowboys life. Even if the wages wouldn’t feed a family of chiggers!
This particular morning, must be about 6am by now, I’m having no luck finding the herd. It’s later in the season and they have little intention of being found. So now I’m frustrated and getting bored. Been probably 6 or 7 miles at a long trot in the last hour or so. Not a horse hair to be found.
Nothing gets into more difficulty than a bored Cowboy. His imagination has time to start cooking so you can bet that trouble’s on the way.
Well, I ride down a slope, out around a point of timber sticking out into a big park, and there below me is a young Bull Moose grazing his breakfast in a soggy bog. Riding up I get the bright idea to talk to him.
Now you can’t just talk American to a moose. They haven’t got no idea what that noise is about. You got to talk to them in moose! So you grunt, and cough and squeal, just like they do. So there I am a gruntin’, a coughin’ and a squealin’. That gelding I’m ridin’ that morning ain’t likin’ this at all, not any of it.
He’s jumpin’ and jiggin’ and wantin’ outa there and right now! The Bull, he’s gruntin’ back, thrashin’ water, makin’ false charges but mostly just talkin’ tough. I just laughed at the both of ‘em. Noisy, big talkin’, hairy, walkin’ hat rack, is what I told that moose he was.
Must have took offense at that last remark, ‘cause out of that bog he come, flingin’ mud and crud 8 feet high!
I kinda thought it was a bit more than a false charge so I let that gelding swap ends and rattle on up out of there. Must have rode a hundred feet or so before I bothered to look back. I truly expected to see that grumpy hat rack standin’ on the bank of that bog watchin’ me leave.
I was wrong.
That sucker was 50 feet back and coming strong! “What the heck are you dawdlin’ for?” I screech at that gelding, and start the old western movie, over and under with the loose ends of those reins! "Get us the "Heck" (I'd never curse!) outa here!”
He got tired of “educating” me after about two hundred yards, and I was sure willing, at that point, to accept the lesson! I was giggling glad I'd picked the fastest horse in my string that morning!
Never knew, before then, that a bull moose can outrun a horse for a little while! He gained on us the whole time. That bugger could have wiped his nose on my hip pocket when he quit chasing me!
I giggled all the way back to the barn, while the gelding (the smarter of the two of us) wondered what in the heck was so funny?
I could almost hear him thinkin' "You dang near get my butt tatooed by a bull moose and you think it's funny?". Some horses just ain't got a sense of humor!
If you'd like to read more stories like this, I'd be honored if you'd check out my ebook:
Horses, Critters, and Other Tales of a Cowboy's Life
in my 'Bookstore'... Just click on the link!