Friday, September 05, 2008

Moose Roots?

The title of a hagiographic piece on Sarah Palin in the Los Angeles Times refers to her moose roots. Imagine that. Your roots are in mooses (meese?) if you like to kill them with a gun that shoots bullets from a great distance. That's not exactly brave, mind you. I'd love to see an angry moose in an arena with an unarmed hunter, to even the odds. I also think that anyone killing moose should also eat the catch. Hunting for food is one thing, hunting for the pleasure of killing creatures is a completely different thing.

I share with Palin the moose roots, I guess, except for the killing bit. When I was a tiny goddess I used to watch the moose families on summer evenings, slowly making their way from one site in the forests to another site, the path requiring them to cross our vegetable garden. The size of the adults impressed me and the silly legs of the coltish calves made me laugh. I was always told to respect the moose and not to approach them. Not even to shoot them from a great distance.

One summer I was looking for wild blueberries in the woods and came upon a moose cemetery in a deep and shaded notch where the silence was dark and eerie. There they rested, gigantic moose skeletons, side by side, the most recent dead still with some brown skin on them. The antlers rose into the air like some prehistoric plants. I held my breath for quite a while, just as one would when coming across something holy or sacred. That's moose roots for you.