She Had A Moose
by Phillip Cimei
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The ground became a mother’s womb caressing my beaten and bloody body. “Don’t move until the moose leaves,” I said to myself. “Will he come back and finish the job?” I didn’t want to look up; eye contact only arouses bone crushing instinct. “Why did I put myself in this position?”
Time stood still as I pondered my dilemma. “Pride,” my sister once told me, “will encase your ego like a fragile eggshell. Like Humpty Dumpty, you will fall. Instead, wrap your ego—your heart, with God’s love, wisdom and Spirit. Humility will keep you out of trouble.”
I miss her wise words. Her tragic death, two years prior, is what brought my family to this small rural town—population 1200. And now I lay here, pride shattered—point well taken.
I can’t blame my mother—the reason I’m kissing dirt. She meant well. “Go out and meet some nice girl,” she pleaded.
“Oh Mom, you know I’ve tried.”
“Tried? You’re eighteen and have only been on one date in your life. And that was with that girl you met at bible camp.”
“Well let’s see, take away the old fogies— born and raised here, the babies, parents of those babies, school kids, and that leaves...umm… three eligible bachelorettes.”
I gave it a try. A small café up town would change my life. There she was, “Okay, don’t be a nerd. You can do it, go say hello.” My feet said, “stay.”
“Hello,” she said, walking up to me, ”name’s Precious”— and yes, she was.
I looked down to see if I wet myself. Nope, all clear.
“New kid on the block, huh.” she said.
I took a deep breath and prayed for words to come out that hid my inept social skills. “Yes!” It flowed out like a romantic poem—with obvious desperation.
We started talking; it grew into an amazing…glorious…life changing… you get the idea. She wanted me to come over to her house that night. I eagerly fulfilled her request. We sat in my car that evening laughing and talking. I even got kissed.
I couldn’t wait to see her again. Unannounced, the next night, I drove up to her house. As I pulled up, I saw the passenger’s side of her car spring open. She jumped out.
“Stop!” she yelled, a look of terror on her face.
“What…Where?” I anticipated some ferocious dog ready to attack, a rattlesnake coiled in the grass or…or.
“I was gonna tell ya yesterday.”
“Tell me what?”
My eyes squinted with confusion spotting movement in the driver’s seat.
“I gotta boyfriend. He was on a hunting trip in Colorado.”
There in the driver’s seat was Moose. His real name was Wilber T. No one called him Wilber T. and lived to see another day.
This is where the eggshell cracks. Moose wasn’t going to make me look like a fool. I could do that by myself, thank you very much. I walked up to the driver’s side, opened the door and hit Moose in the face.
“What are you thinking?” my heart said too late. “118 lbs., never been in a fight in your life, and you hit a “moose”. Never ever hit a “moose”, “bubba”, or a “goliath” unless you are authorized by God himself to do so.
I can see why God had pride at the top of his list of the six, no seven, things he hated. And when Jesus preached the greatest sermon every uttered, mentioned “poor in spirit” as a prerequisite in understanding and receiving God’s blessings in His Kingdom.
No, I had to let vulnerable “pride of life” sneak in.
Why couldn’t he have turned the other cheek?
He got out, unfazed as if a mosquito had bitten him, and smirked.
The shell of pride was only cracked a little. Why not make a complete idiot of myself? I ran up to him, jumped in the air, and kicked his chest—unmovable as an oak tree.
The rest is too gruesome to tell.
I was defeated—face bloody, clothes shredded, and bruised from head to foot. Pride shattered, I pondered my future.
I could hear my sister’s consoling words, “…all things work together for good to them that love God.” Rom. 8:28 KJV
A few months later I would meet my current wife—forty-nine years strong.
I will leave you single men some advice, “When you meet a girl, ask her, ‘Do you have a moose?’”
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Reader Count & Comments
Gotta say I really enjoyed this short piece. Really enjoyed it. Every sentence is very impactful and succinctly written. Loved the misleading, suspenseful beginning, as you cleverly had me believing the storyâ€™s conflict was with quite another animal than the one it turned out to be. Loved the clear but quick reminiscence of the narratorâ€™s motherâ€™s romantic nudges, and his responsive attitude towards it. Sisterâ€™s advice was great. One thing I thought that hurt the piece, as it didnâ€™t seem worthy of the rest of its humorous composition, was the line where he believes he wet himself upon meeting the girl. I know what you were going for but it comes off childish when everything else was so effective and clever. Only other part that caused me to stammer in the piece was the narratorâ€™s inner dialogue following him having punched Moose in the face. As the reader is not doubt anticipating Mooseâ€™s reaction, having been given the narratorâ€™s rash assault on the man, I had initially begun to read the following dialogue as Mooseâ€™s response, in his voice, until I read that it was the narratorâ€™s own heart speaking, as you said, a little too late. A slight change of courseâ€”a little introduction as to whose speaking before the lineâ€”would remedy this. Iâ€™ll make a suggestion, even though Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll do more than fine conceiving your own. â€œAs my mere flesh and blood made contact with his steel infrastructure, my heart shrieked, â€˜What are you thinking! 118 lbs, never been in a fight before, and you hit a â€˜mooseâ€™â€. Otherwise, really enjoyed your writing. Good job. Refreshing and riveting read! And a wonderful moral to boot! God bless, my friend!
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