Moose Hair

“I grew up with the confidence that the greatest privilege was to be alone and have all the time you wanted. That was the cream of existence. I owe everything that I have done to the fact that I am very much at ease being alone (emphasis mine). It’s a good predisposition in a writer.”

— Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead.

Gusty west wind and a brief burst of rain yesterday afternoon.  A few final shards of ice blew east down the bay, like bergs calved on some distant shoreline.  The bay will be ice free within a few days, I think.

In the sunshine of late morning I donned rubber boots, coveralls, latex gloves, and everything short of a clothespin for my nose, and set to work stretching  the cow moose hide from last December, down on the beach next to the tail of the Bush Hawk.  It has been soaking on a rope tether alongside the little stub dock there, an ice water bath for the past three weeks.  Most of the hair has slipped but it is not all coming free.  What struck me once again is just the sheer volume of thick warm hair on the hide of even a small moose.  Bushels and bushels of it, four inches thick, every hair a slender hollow cylinder.  Moose are an absolute miracle in this country.

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