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Visit From the Forest King

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

By May Davidson

There are times in your life when you are in desperate need of something to uplift your spirits and it actually appears. We had such an experience one memorable October evening at our farm in Round Pound. Our apple trees, only twenty feet from our house, were more loaded with fruit than we had ever seen them. Big, bright red McIntosh apples hung from every branch.

Late on a dimly moonlit night, Jim glanced outside and saw long white legs slowly moving under the apple trees. He watched as they progressed and saw that they were attached to a huge, dark body. He woke me so we could discover what this creature might be together. When it stepped into the light from our house, we saw that it was a magnificent bull moose. His rear legs were white from just above the hocks to his hooves, and his front legs were white up to the back of his knees.

He reached into the branches of the tree to snap off an apple, then lowered his great antlered head to chew his prize. He took about four crunches, light steam clouds escaping from his mouth with each swing of his jaws. He was so close we could see how his square upper lip hung over the lower one, giving him the moose’s signature hooked nose.

The moose’s motion was slow and methodical. We watched him with awe and delight as he completed the round of the three trees, plucking apples from his stately height.

When he began to leave the trees, we were sure he would go back to the woods. He went only a few steps before folding his long legs to make a smooth descent to the grassy lawn near our big windows.

He lay facing the woods with his back to us and began chewing his cud. His long ears and beautiful palmed rack wiggled as he chewed. Sometimes he turned his head in profile so we could see his wondrous triangular beard also swaying. We continued observing him from the darkened room, solemnly inspired by the majesty of his presence, by his gift of primal beauty, by his fearlessness to lay so close to us. There was an urge to take a picture of the moose so we could believe he had actually been there, but w