I love telling this story. It happened years ago on a family
vacation to Yellowstone National Park. I was reminded of it recently when I saw a moose in the wild on TV. While we were at Yellowstone, every evening after dinner, we would ride through the park looking for a sighting of a moose. We had heard that dusk was the best time to spot one. But on our last full day at Yellowstone, we still had not spotted a single moose. Sadly, we had to come to terms that it was not going to happen. On our way back to the lodge that evening, we saw some people parked alongside the road. They appeared to be looking at something far away. My husband, Ron, pulled over with hopes they had seen a moose. And yes, indeed, they had spotted one. To go after it, we would have to climb down the embankment and traverse through brush along a creek with a muddy bank. We grabbed our camera and set out for the adventure. Ron and my son, David, were in the lead as I trudged along behind them, not as enthusiastic as they were. Because of the wildness of the land, it was not an easy hike. Finally, I had enough and said, “This is ridiculous. I’m going back to the car.”
I left David and Ron and climbed back up the embankment where I had a nice view of their heads bobbing along the muddy bank as they made their way deeper into the wild. I wondered what they would do if they actually found the moose? Would they get close enough to take a picture? Would the moose get mad and charge them? Not my problem. I was nice and safe standing next to our rental car.
While I waited for the guys to come to their senses and come back, something strange happened. The moose came up to me! I’m not kidding. I assure you, there was some distance between us. I was standing on ground twenty feet higher and he was about thirty feet away, but close enough. He stared at me with dark eyes and cocked his head to one side. Maybe he was as perplexed to see me as I was to see him. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Ron and David making their way back, both wearing long faces that indicated their failure. I cupped my hand around my mouth and said, “The moose is here! It’s right here!” “What?” Ron yelled back. I pointed to the moose on the other side of the thick brush, hidden from their view, but oh so close. Again, I tried to tell them that the moose was on the other side of the thicket. “What are you trying to tell me?” Ron shouted.
By the time the guys made it back up to the car, the moose had dashed off into the woods. I laughed at their foolish hunt while I saw the creature just standing beside the car. They didn’t think it was funny. In fact, they were mad! Mad because I saw the moose, and they didn’t.
The next morning we had to pack up and leave Yellowstone. The guys were still upset that I, and not them, had seen the one creature they had so desperately wanted to see in the park. For the next few years, I reminded them of their moose-less trek by giving them Moose Munch for Christmas. However, neither saw the humor in my applicable gift.
I guess if there is a lesson to learn, it is this: Whatever you are searching for may be right under your nose. Everyone just needs to slow down and not go off on a wild moose hunt.