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The moose!

Graham just alerted me to the breaking news that the moose has returned.

Crianza and moose c. April 2004

This gives me much joy, though I have no idea how they a) managed to lose it in the first place, and b) found it again. I risked life and limb last week when I noticed that it was missing. I looked everywhere: in the fireplace, under the bed, under the couches, in bookshelves, in the couches, behind pillows, in food canisters, in crevices between furniture, outside in leaf piles, on top of spaghetti... I did a lot of unnecessary--and quite frankly, painful, given the surgery--bending looking for the moose. No luck.

Crianza has had the Moose since she was a baby puppy, and it has been her most favorite toy in the world her whole life. She has also the mouse, and it is much beloved, but not as much as the moose. There are two back-up mooses around the house, waiting for the day that the moose finally dies, and last week at pet-co, we bought a mini-moose, when whe thought that we'd never see the moose again. But nothing really substitues for the moose.

The moose gets carried around a lot. It's now a dirty moose, due to being slobbered all over and dragged through the house. I've washed it a few times, but it eventually gets dirty again. It's had several surgeries over the years, the most recent a few week ago, right before it went missing. And it squeaks. Crianza will just walk around, holding the moose, squeaking away.

Most wonderfully, though, is that if you squeak it enough, someone will get up off the couch, pull the moose out of your mouth, and throw it. This means you can run at full speed to retrieve the moose. And then you start squeaking again until they pull it out of your mouth again.

Celosa discovered the allure of the moose almost as soon as she came into the house. It was the first thing she ever got in trouble with her big sister for disturbing (though there have been thousands of other transgressions since then). It took her a little while to learn to make it squeak, but she was delighted to make that discovery only a few weeks after learning the joys of the moose.

And so, elaborate games of "I've got the moose" break out on a fairly regular basis. Graham said such a game broke out as soon as the moose was discovered, and poor Athena, who hasn't been feeling well for the last few weeks (she's on antibiotics and is hopefully on the mend) got trapped under a coffee table while the game was going on. Graham rescued Athena, but as far as I know, the game with the moose is still going on.