Short Fiction

Death of a Bull Moose

Death of a Bull Moose

I began thinking about a moose. It didn’t start out so profound, but when I found one near my cabin I would sit and watch it until it wandered away out of boredom or in search of food. I would seek it out in the marsh in early mornings. I stayed whether I found the moose or not, watching the faint movements of the grasses, leaves, and water. I felt the sheer mobility of nature. Now I am the friend of a dead moose.

I walk south from my cabin to a large marsh located about a mile away from a gravel service road. The route to the marsh once brought me through an old growth forest, but the trail this day brings me by a field of stumps and brush. Across the field is a line of machinery — dozers, backhoes, and cats. They smoke and grumble. A solitary grove of maples frame the machines. The black smoke from the machines disappears in the maple’s shadows then reappears, seeping into the sky. Distant voices pulse with baritone cackles while tanned workers hack at fallen trees with chainsaws. I want to say something, but I don’t. I head to the marsh.

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