Did the winter weather make you grouchy? Well, apparently it made wild animals grumpy, too.
Janis and Bob Powell of Belmont, NH, were snowmobiling near Jackman, ME, when they came upon a moose on the trail in front of them. The moose stopped, turned and stared at Bob Powell, then charged him. Powell did the sensible thing - he hid behind his snowmobile. Before it could turn into a kid's game of the moose and Powell running round and round the snowmobile, Powell fired a shot from his pistol into the air.
The moose stopped, pondered the situation, and loped off into the woods. Smart moose. According to a report by Portland television station WMTW, "Moose normally are docile animals, but 'they can be in a defensive posture because it is a tough time of year for them,' (Cpl. John) MacDonald said. He added that like other wild animals, moose will protect themselves if they feel threatened."
It's not only moose that are cranky due to the recent snow and cold. Henry Thomas of Portsmouth was sitting in his garage peacefully reading his prayer book when a fox wandered by. Thomas told Boston television station WBZ-TV, "He come walking in here", recounts Thomas. "I thought it was a dog to begin with, but it wasn't, he wanted to bite me."
The fox grabbed one of the 74-year old man's slippers off his foot. "He wouldn't stop, he kept grabbing it."
Thomas took his cane and started hitting the fox with it. The fox decided that being beaten upside the head with a cane wasn't much fun, and trotted across the street right into another garage. The owner of that home wasn't about to have his slippers stolen either. He picked up a 2 x 4 and disposed of the animal.
Thomas was philosophical. "I kind of wonder if he just wasn't hungry," says Thomas. "I love animals, even him. I felt bad about that. " However, Thomas was also concerned about the well being of kids in the neighborhood.
So, we've learned that animals, like humans, can get cantankerous. But, the animals should have learned something, too. Men take their slippers very seriously, and if you don't want to get beat up, leave their slippers alone.
Does the prolonged winter still have you feeling crabby? Want a laugh or two? You might want to read my book, "Outtastatahs: Newcomers' Adventures in New Hampshire." "Outtastatahs" (as in out-of-staters) can be purchased at River Run Bookstore in Portsmouth; the Galley Hatch Restaurant gift shop in Hampton; The Water Street Bookstore in Exeter; Gibson's Bookstore in Concord and on-line at barnesandnoble.com. Both paper and Kindle versions can be obtained at amazon.com.