Moose in the Doorway


Sometimes you have one of those bizarre dreams that gets you wondering whether you’re entirely sane, or if someone perhaps slipped some Crack in your Cornflakes that morning.

That happened to me the other night (the dream, not the Crack.)

I am walking down the sidewalk in a city. A small pile of snow lies stacked on the side nearest the street. I look up, and there standing about fifteen feet in front of me is a Moose.

Not just any Moose, though. You see, there was a vaguely sinister feeling about this Moose. For a start, he was staring straight at me. Also, he had that “don’t fuck with me, it’s been a bad day in the forest and my antlers are itchy as hell” kind of look on his face.

Thinking it best to avoid him, I move toward the inside of the sidewalk. The Moose shifts and blocks my path.  Crafty bloody Moose.  I figure I should avoid him at all costs, so I shift left and started to walk on the street to go around him. Surely he wouldn’t follow me there? Au contraire.

The Moose glides into the street in front of me. Fucking uncanny.

This Moose seems so self-aware he should have a name. For some reason, I call him “Basil.”

So there I am, stuck on the street, my way stopped by a herbivorous forest dweller (damn I love big words.) Retreat seemed the only option at this point. About 10 feet behind me there was a bakery with swinging glass doors. I start backing towards it, keeping my eyes on Basil the evil Moose.

He starts following me. What’s worse, he’s getting closer. I try to speed up, but sometimes in dreams you want to go faster and just can’t. He’s gaining on me, and I’m moving as slow as a turtle after a hard night’s drinking.

After an eternity, I reach the doors, get inside and close them, just as Basil makes it to the door. Now he’s standing right in front of the doors blocking them, and I’m stuck inside with the Gingerbread Man and his mates. Basil is still staring at me. In fact, his eyes never left me once.

Honestly, I’m a bit frustrated at this point. I figure I’d better get tough with him. So, I open one of the glass doors and push it against his nose, thinking he’ll take the hint. No such luck. I push a bit harder. Nothing. Finally I start banging both doors against his nose. I know that Basil is laughing at me inside, but his face betrays not a flicker of emotion.

Suddenly, I see a woman walking toward the bakery. It’s clear she plans to come inside, and somehow I know that Basil will have to move out of the way for her.

As she walks up behind him, Basil stands up on his hind legs, grabs the top of the doors with his forelegs, and swings them open. As he swings them open, he flips his hind legs up to the top of the doors.

Picture this, if you will: The woman walks into the bakery cool as you please, as if there isn’t a Moose named Basil straddling the open glass doors, forming an arch over the entrance seven feet above the ground.

I thought this was my one chance, so just as she came in, I get ready to run for it, slip under Basil’s belly and make a bid for freedom.  Of course, it’s just my luck to be stalked by the only Moose in the city who also appears to be an Olympic gymnast. No sooner do I think of escaping than Basil slams the doors and drops back in front of them, forcing me to spend the rest of my dream in a lonely bakery (the woman was nowhere to be found at this point, damn her), wishing I had a rifle.

Somehow, though, I doubt the bullets would have made a dent in Basil. That’s the kind of Moose he was.

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