“AHHHHH, Yes!” Harry said, “You don’t know.”
Marie glanced at him in the mirror. “What don’t I know?”
“You don’t know the real and ungodly truth.”
“Which is?” she said, wiping the toothpaste off her mouth with a towel.
“That, I Harry Bothwell, am the MOOSE!” Suddenly, moose antlers made of wiggling fingers sprouted from his head. He butted Marie. She dropped her towel on the floor.
“This is the moose butt,” he said.“ Thee Moose poketh the Moosette.” He poked. “Poke, Poke.” He butted her left shoulder with his finger horns. He humped her left leg. “POKEth the Moosetina.” He butted her shoulder again. He dipped his head to butt her breasts. “The Moose poketh the good parts.”
“What kind of moose are you anyway?” she said, trying to back out the bathroom door with him butting after her.
“I am the Moose for a better understanding of POKE!”
“Really,” she said, backing into the bedroom.
“I’m the Kierkegaard Moose,” he said.
“The Kierkegaard Moose? What does the Kierkegaard Moose do?”
“He tells the Moosetina that Jesus was only the truth when he said it.”
Now Marie felt the back of her knees against the bed. Harry dipped his moose antlers in search of an opening. She felt the antlers dig into her left breast. They were soft butting antlers.
“And then?” she said.
Great Moose pressed against his Moosetina. He pushed lightly and she fell back on the bed. He butted her legs and then he slid along the top of her.
“And then the MOOSE has his way with her.”
“He does?” she said.
“Yes he does,” he said.
“How do you know?” she said.
“I am an experienced Moose with Moosetinas such as yourself.”
“You mean to say there have been other Moosetinas other than myself?”
“I confess there have been other Moosetinas other than yourself but none as beautiful nor so sweetsmelling muskily in the right places as yourself.”
“Well that’s encouraging,” she said as the Moose licked her neck.
“I am the Morning Moose at evening tea,” he said.
“It’s 6:10 PM,” she said.
“I’m the late Morning Moose. I have come to perform High Moose.”
“I have never experienced High Moose. And what is High Moose?” she laughed as he sucked on her left ear.
“It is somewhat like Low Moose, only a bit more refined?” he nibbled.
“And?” she said.
“You’re tearing at my clothes,” she shrieked.
“I am,” he said. “And not only am I, I shall continue to do so.”
“What if I resist?”
“Ahhhh, yes. Resist my Moosetina.”
“What if I don’t want to resist?” she said.
“Hump,” said Moose.
“Hump and hump!”
“Is that all?”
“Not quite,” he said.
“Now,” he said, “I am slipping out of my Outer Moose and slipping into my Greater Moose. Are you ready?”
“I think so,” she tittered.
“Ahh,” he said. “Ahhhhhhhh. My Moooooosetina!”
Later they lay on the bed staring at the Society Finches in the cage by the back window. The sun was down, so all they saw were the silhouettes of the birds clicking high perch to low, to the vacation feeder on the floor of the cage and back to the upper perch. In a few minutes they’d hunch in one corner of a perch. One would climb on top of the other. They’d sleep part of the night like that.
“Where did you get the Moose?”
“It came with the landscape,” Bothwell said.
“Do you ever run out of words for it?” Marie said.
“Not for that.”
“Did you ever wish you had a moose?”
“Moose were never high on my list,” he said. “I had a cat and I had a few chickens. One dog, a Dalmatian named Anastasia. Somebody had beaten her. She was crazy. She ran in front of cars. That’s what got her. A car.”
“Don’t be sorry. She was a crazy dog.
“I wished for a horse once. A big white horse. It was crazy. I was nine years old. We had this old barn out back of the house where we kept the family car and the lawn mower. I got to wishing on a star. Every night I’d stand outside and say, ‘Star light, star bright. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the dream I dream tonight.’ I do this every night for weeks all winter long. After awhile, I begin to think it’s working. Every morning, I run down to the barn before and after school to see if my horse is in the barn. I’m going to buy the hay and Dad will build the proper stall. We’ll get oats and a feed bag, and oh boy, a saddle. A western saddle because I was a cowboy. Me and half the neighborhood. Star Light, Star Bright. Every night with the North Star, it’s ‘Wish I may, Wish I might.’
“One morning in late March, when there were still patches of wet snow on the ground, I ran down the old wooden cellar stairs and out to the barn. I press my face to the barn window and I see the HORSE! A big white horse is running in around in my barn. It’s the most gorgeous, biggest, most splendiferous horse anybody has ever seen. He’s got a long white mane like in the movies, or like Silver. He must be a male. Did I know they rode geldings or mares in the movies? Did I know Lassie was a he? So I got this horse. This white stallion. WOW man, I’m going to have my own white horse!
“I go to school and I don’t tell a soul. All day I sit in class thinking about my horse. I got this secret horse. So I’m walking home in the slush with Billy Martinelli. We only lived a long block from school. Billy Martinelli lived across the street. His father came from the old country. He didn’t speak English. I didn’t understand Italian. Billy’s mother went to church three times a day. The Madonna sat in her living room. If she wasn’t praying, she was making spaghetti.
“So I’m walking along and I say to Billy, ‘I got a horse.’ And he looks at me like I’m crazy. I leave out the part about wishing on a star. I just tell him I got a horse in my barn and does he want to see it? Sure he wants to see my horse. I take Billy down in the back yard and I tell him to look in the barn window. He presses his face to the glass. ‘See it?’ I say. No, he doesn’t. I think maybe it’s the glare or the angle. ‘See my horse?’ He keeps pressing his face against the glass. I swear to God, I see that horse in there. I really see that flash of white mane.
“Billy has his hands cupped around the sides of his face. ‘Nope,’ and he backs away from the window.
“After he left, I looked in the barn. I went nearly blind staring into the dark. No horse. I never saw the horse again and I stopped wishing on the star. Billy never again said anything about the horse, or the fact I’d mentioned a horse.”
“So how come you never got a horse?”
Bothwell got out of bed and slipped the red cover on the bird cage. “I never even rode a horse. In fact, I’m afraid of horses.”
“You’re not afraid of horses.”
“Yeah, I am,” he said walking to the foot of the bed. “I’m terrified of horses.”
“I would have never thought you were afraid of horses,” she said.
“I’m afraid of a lot of things. Moose and Jesus freaks.”
“I know you’re afraid of a lot of things. That’s why I love you because you tell me you’re afraid of things. I’m glad you’re afraid of things. But you’re not really afraid of Moose.”
“And what about Moosetinas such as myself?”
“I am more afraid of Moosetinas such as yourself than I am of Moose.”
“I don’t believe that.”
“Well I am.”
“And why are you afraid of Moosetinas when you are so good with Moosetinas and you have met other Moosetinas such as myself even if they were not the same smelling kind of Moosetinas?”
“Not the same smelling Moosetinas I have met.”
“I love you Moosetina.”
“How can I be sure? How can I ever really know?”
“One can never really know, my Moosetina. Nobody can ever really know. Sometimes you can die and never really know.”
“I don’t like that, because I know I love you.”
“That’s because you’re an immortal Moosetina.”
“Don’t you ever wish you got that horse?” Marie said.
“No, I don’t,” he said.
“Because then I’d have to take care of it.”
“Don’t you want to?”
“No, I just like the idea of the horse.”
“But you love me. You take care of me.”
“And you take care of me,” he said.
“You don’t need the horse?”
“Of course I do.”
“But for different reasons?”
“For the same reasons; which is why I am the Moose and you are the Moosetina.”
“Do you think that’s normal?” she asked.
“As normal as it gets for some people,” he said.
“I have my doubts,” she said.
“You are not alone,” he said.
*2009 WOOD COIN: The Horny Play Boy Bunny (Jackalope) Gets Some Issue: Plumb, “HORSE”