"The moon was abreast on the new-fallen snow
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below"
Those two lines of "The Night Before Christmas"
Often run through my head
I never gave them much meaning,
Just a part of another Christmas Story
Memorized by children before they can read it
But lately, I have been thinking of how apt they really are
As I walk through the night in the new-fallen snow
When there's a full moon, there really is a luster of daylight
To objects below
And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
(No, not a miniture sleigh and eight tiny reindeer)
But a really big moose, with no reasons for fear!
I stopped in my tracks
To my dog gave a whistle
And away the moose bolted
Like the down of a thistle
I continue onward,
Monty now securely on his leash
As the moose may not feel like playing
with an exhuberant full-grown but puppy-minded dog
And as I head home
I give thanks that I live in a part of the world
Where one can walk at night
Guided only by the moonlight or starlight
Sure of the ground beneath my feet
With no fears of muggers or rapists or serial killers
The only thing I have to be aware of
is making sure I don't startle those moose!