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Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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Amusing Monday: Messing with moose

October 22nd, 2012 by cdunagan

Scott Simon of National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition” seems to have a thing for moose. On Saturday morning’s broadcast, he interviewed a man who was attacked by a moose in the woods of Western Massachusetts.

It was amusing enough to hear how the man, who had undergone two hip replacements, was able to dart among the trees where the moose had trouble maneuvering with a full rack of antlers. If you didn’t hear the interview, you should probably play it now by clicking the start arrow in the box at right.

What struck me as especially funny was that the man had only been attacked one other time in his life. I was thinking it was probably some kind of bird or possibly a more dangerous animal, such as a bear. But no, his only similar encounter was with a flying squirrel. It took little prompting to get the logger to do a pretty good impression of Natasha from the cartoon “Rocky and Bullwinkle.”

That reference stirred up memories of a cartoon that first appeared when I was 7 years old, a cartoon that impressed me at the time with its twisted references to names and events — even if I couldn’t understand them all at the time.

My favorite feature on the program was “Fractured Fairy Tales,” which took familiar stories in a new direction.

If you’d like to revisit these old “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoons, the website Hulu seems to have all the episodes from all five seasons of the show, including “Fractured Fairy Tails,” “Peabody and Sherman” and “Dudley Do-Right.”

Returning to Scott Simon’s fascination with moose, another interview he conducted this past summer involved a new moose-calling contest that was just beginning in Rangeley, Maine. Scott was able to replicate a female call that could bring some bull moose heading his way.

As contest organizer Roger Lambert tells him, “Well, they either want to kill you or have their way with you and you better be able to judge that instantly on the spot, especially if you’ve got clients with you. The moral of this moose calling business is: the first thing you need to do is have an exit strategy.”

If we’re going to talk moose, we really ought to take time to discuss Alaska. I think a television show called “Moose in the City” could be a big hit. Annie Feidt, another NPR reporter, ventured to Anchorage last winter to tell her moose story on Christmas Day.

Here’s one conversation in the story called, “Loose Moose Make Anchorage A Winter Wanderland”:

“Local singer-songwriter Marian Call loves the moose — and she loves to eat them, though she has never hunted one herself.

‘I wrote a song making fun of myself for being a city slicker,’ she says. ‘City slickers — we feed moose our leftover Halloween pumpkins.

‘But I’ve seen plenty of real strong Alaskan girls,’ she says. ‘[If] they hit a moose, their reaction is not to tend to their car and weep and moan and wring their hands. Their reaction is to get out and get their hunting knife and take [the moose] to pieces and take it home and eat it all winter.’”

For your continued amusement, I tracked down Marian Call’s song, “If I Were a Real Alaskan Girl.” Click the start arrow at right to hear the song, or click on the title or photo to go to her home page. Check out these lyrics:

I’d shoot more than a camera at the animals and such
I’d eat Rudolph for breakfast and Bullwinkle for lunch
Alaskan girls are fearsome and fearless by design
They kill mosquitoes with a look and mess with trusting tourists’ minds

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"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

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