Somebody Had to Say It


The front page of the October 10, 1895 issue of The Chatham Record features what appears at first to be a take-down piece on the moose.

Yes, the moose. Not a local celebrity, politician or annoying fad.

The moose. Not a particular moose – a moose who had gotten too big for his habitat, or even a particular branch of the moose family. All moose.

It turns out to be more of a ruminative piece, as the author lists the moose’s attributes. It’s almost as though the author is saying, “look, I got nothing against the moose. They’re awesome. But stop saying they’re beautiful!”

The Moose is Not Beautiful.

Truth compels the statement that, considered artistically, the moose is a very homely creature; his legs and his head are too long, and his heck and body too short for beauty. he has a high and sharp crest on his shoulders, coarse, bristly hair, and not enough tail to speak of, even in a whisper; in short, he has no tail at all. His eyes are too small to match his immensity, but his voice is like that of a bull of Bashan.

But all these homely features have their uses. His overhanging nose is as useful as a tapir’s snout in browsing on the twigs of the birch, maple and poplar, and his keenness of scent is worth more to him than an accident insurance policy. His long and powerful legs simply annihilate distance, no matter whether it be in the for of forest, swamp or prairie, covered with snow, mud or water. His favorite gait is a long, swinging trot, and his speed and endurance surpass those of any ordinary trotting-horse. In small lakes and ponds he strides about like a Colossus, feeding on the lily-stems and bulbs, and swimming with ease and comfort whenever he thinks it necessary. — St, Nicholas.


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