No it wasn't a real moose - we live in the Midwest for goodness sake - but it might as well have been. My father, always a giving man, decided that our children needed George. George was the stuffed head of what must have been a very large moose. It had hung in our garage since I was a teenager - one of those "somebody needed money and had to sell something" items my father was always bringing home. Why he found this particular time to give George away is beyond me but our family became the recipient.
We piled George in the trunk of our car, thank goodness we were not stopped on the way home because I don't think a policeman would have understood why we had this moose head protruding out over the highway. Then we piled the sleeping children into the back seat. We reversed this process when we got home tucking the children into their warm beds. George unfortunately had to spend the night sitting on the floor because we were just too tired to hang him properly - I'm sure a terrible disgrace to any self-respecting moose.
The next morning our pajama clad little ones came running down the stairs. Renee, oblivious to anything out of the ordinary, ran straight into the kitchen for breakfast. Eddie on the other hand noticed everything. He ran through the living room, around the corner, and came face to face with George who looked like his head was sticking up out of the floor. Absolutely every bit of blood drained from poor Eddie's face, he came to a dead stop, and immediately started to back up like a cartoon character who was leaving grooves in the floor. He managed to back himself into the couch and couldn't go any further just about the time I caught up with him. I think he left claw marks on my back.
I can't say that George and Eddie ever came to be close friends but they did learn to tolerate each other - especially after Eddie learned that he could swing from old George's beard once we hung him on the wall. Poor George, what a disgrace to any self-respecting moose.
George paid the ultimate price many years later when he died one last time in a fire. Poor George, may he rest in peace - finally.