Moose! Collection

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

December 14, 2023

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to write 99-word stories. A collection of prompted 99-word stories reads like literary anthropology. Diverse perspectives become part of a collaboration.

We welcome encouraging comments. You can follow writers who link their blogs or social media.

Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.

Slough Visitor by Ann Edall-Robson

The house is dark, the route to the front door and outside has few obstacles, except the squeaky fourth step from the bottom.

There’s a slit of morning colour simmering along the hills to the East. The watch face stares back with the numbers 4:45.

Motion sensor lights around the deck go out. The gravel crunches under tires, windows rolled down, welcoming morning sounds at the slough in the foothills, a favourite destination.
A silhouette raises its head from beneath the water. Daylight pushing over the treetops dance on rivulets of water falling from the bull moose’s antlers.


The Club by Dianne Borowski

“Can I go with you tonight, Daddy?” I asked quietly.

He shook his head, “Not tonight.”

“But I want to see the Moose! You promised.” I whined.

I held my breath. I knew better than to push the issue.

Daddy was the greatest but don’t get him mad. Then look out!

Go back inside with your Mother,” he said and gave me a gentle shove toward the door.

Mom hated it when he went to see the Moose. I loved it. There was dancing, pretty ladies,
that big Moose head.

“Dam club!” Mama said and threw her bottle.

I ducked.


Mooses by Joanne Fisher

“Do you have any moose in this country?”

“Yes, there are some in Fiordland I think, but they were introduced, like all the deer we have as well.”


“The only native mammals here are bats. All other mammals were brought here from somewhere else, including humans.”

“I see. So what’s the plural of moose?”

“It’s moose.”

“So it’s not mooses then?”

“Of course not.”

“You know how the plural of mouse is mice, shouldn’t the plural of moose be something like moce, mece, muce, or even mace?”

“Well that’s the incongruity of the English language for you.”


Mooseic To My Ears by Bill Engleson’s alter ego, Bruce

The life I’ve led, a bit of a recluse,
people around, they’re of some use,
enjoying my wit, my pun abuse,
and possibly, when nights on the loose,
hear me confess I’ve never met a moose.

Now you might say, “oh, what’s the use?”
Who cares if you’ve never met a moose?”
I’d agree. I have an excuse,
where I live, they don’t reproduce,
at least that what I adeptly adduce.

All in all, the subject slips into disuse.
I drink my wine, a splash of juice,
find moose thoughts much too abstruse
and wave a flag of truce.


Our Good Luck (Part I) by D. Avery

Twelve years ago, I, my parents, two brothers and their wives and some of the nieces and nephews camped together in Yellowstone. It was certainly not the first family camping trip, but was one of the last that included my parents. Buffalo were the icon and hallmark of that trip. Elk were a treat, out in the meadows and wandering through the campsite. But it was on a side trip outside the park that we saw a moose cow and calf, a more special sighting for its being rare and random. We stopped, all smiles at our good luck.


Our Good Luck (Part II) by D. Avery

When we lived in Alaska, camping there and in the Yukon, we occasionally saw moose; a solitary bull; cows with calves. The moose my father shot on a hunting trip with his buddies fed us for months. This prompt reminded me of a picture of my father soon after he’d shot that moose, gingerly sitting on the prostrate animal, out on the autumn-colored tundra, his young face full of awe and wonder at the immense size and awkward beauty of the animal he’d taken down. As he aged my father stopped hunting, but he never lost his sense of wonder.


Our Good Luck (Part III) by D. Avery

When we moved back to Vermont we had seen enough moose to recognize there was suitable habitat, but fifty years ago moose were a rarity here. But soon the number of moose increased in our area. Now, even if you don’t see an actual moose, there are signs of them all through the woods. A young cow left tracks through my yard a couple summers ago before meeting a neighbor on the road. This fall a magnificent bull visited the cove. Sharing these sightings with my father brought another magnificent sight; that look of wonder in his aging face.


Moose by ladyleemanilla

A moose on the loose
Fancy and footloose
Feet sank into the muck with squelch
Keys jiggle jangle
Sounds from my bangle
Woke up and shouted in Welsh

The moose still there
There without a care
Tried to think of what to do
Shall I give him bread?
With peanut spread?
Then he’s gone out of the blue

Ouch! That was a bite
Which gave me a fright
Blood oozing from the wound
Help! Before I faint
Exercise restraint
Have to choose my battleground

Snow on the road
All the cars slowed
Can’t go to school or to work


Best Laid Plans by Padre

Boris scratched his head and wondered how things could have possibly gone so wrong. The trap had been planned meticulously with every detail checked and double checked by Pottsylvania’s cleverest minds. Fearless Leader himself had reviewed and approved the scheme. Yet, once again the Bullwinkle and Rocky walked away unscathed.

“I am sure we did everything correctly,” Boris muttered

“Well, not everything,” Natasha corrected.

“What do you mean?”

“You were supposed to wait for Moose and Squirrel fall over before opening the pit.”

“How was I to know the moose would step over the banana peel?” Boris asked defensively.


Moose and Squirrel by Kerry E.B. Black

“Do you remember that cartoon with the little flying squirrel?”

Sis glanced skyward, remembering. “Do you mean the one with a moose as a friend?”

He frowned. “No, there wasn’t a moose. The squirrel wore an aviator’s cap and had a pet pony.”

“Are you sure you don’t mean Rocky and Bullwinkle?”

“That’s it! Rocky the squirrel and Bullwinkle, his pony.”

“Bullwinkle was a moose.”

“Nope. Pony.” He laughed. “You always remember things differently than the rest of us.”

She typed into her phone’s search engine and revealed the result. “Apparently Jay Ward Productions and IMDb agree with me.”


A True Kansas Moose Story by Duane L Herrmann

My son was ten. We were out in the country and heard a loud unfamiliar deep animal noise.

“Was that a moose?” he asked.

“No, we are in Kansas. There are no moose in Kansas. We are mooseless, we are not mooslems.”

He began to laugh so hard he could not stand. He had been to the local mosque with me. He was friends with the Imam as I had been for years. We knew Muslims, and we were not them. We were not Muslims, we were Baha’is.

I shared this story with the Imam, he enjoyed it too.


Children’s Game by JulesPaige

In the meadow clearing surrounded by mountains, the children played; Deer, Deer, Moose. There was a slight twist if the child didn’t get back safely round to the open spot, they had to be kissed by the one who tagged them. Girls gave air kisses, guys were allowed to give high-fives. But when there were opposites… a moonblushed cheek was offered.

Grammy had closed her eyes, well mostly – She saw Gramps own embarrassed ‘moonblushed’ face as he kissed her cheek ever so gently. That my children, is how the two sides of the mountain became one happy family.


Finding Charity In The Afters by Geoff Le Pard

Des Erte had been a purveyor of fine finishes of the culinary kind for thirty years and considered he knew his sweets. He was the King of Cheesecakes, Prince of Pavolvas while his Queen of Puddings was a gender-bending sugar rush. When Honey Trappe set up her Puds for Good Charity, Des saw an opportunity to gain some local kudos by offering his products to Honey’s clients. She insisted on simplicity, but it was hard. The fat-free bread and butter pudding didn’t appeal, while the suet alternative didn’t suit. Eventually they stuck to a longtime favourite: the Hoose Mousse.


In-humanity by Reena Saxena

The moose is quiet as the kids count extensions on his two horns.

The living room is not familiar terrain, and he is biding time in alien territory. The television screen shows scenes of human brutality, and that has probably quietened him down … as if he is in a simulation, watching the animal nature of humans rise to unprecedented heights.

He will need those horn extensions to combat multiple levels of in-humanity.

Right now, things look cool – these kids are just curious. Maybe, he can rest here till they grow up – products of a culture that glorifies violence.


Moose and Squirrel by Charli Mills

You are a moose to my squirrel. Big, immovable, intimidating. I feel safe with you around. Safe enough to chase after this nutty dream to be a country-western singer. You follow me to Tennessee, keeping me safe. I strum, you drink another shot, and this continues for four years until my first Billboard hit. The industry sweeps me up and you claim your view from a favored barstool. I’m tucked inside a world as snug as a den in a tree while you slink through the swamps of alcohol. Does anyone notice when a moose drops in the woods?  


Sunrise Flash by Tessa Kjeldsdottir

He stands on the bank where forest parts to sunrise on the rich strip of green, and lowers his muzzle to feed. Thick grass pops between his rotating jaws, snapping as he tears into clumps of equally satisfying roots.

He sneezes, shakes his antlers, and freezes at the whisper of small feet on the low cliff, opposite.

Alert, he steps back into shadow.

She sees him and laughs like water over shallows.

He nods, unconcerned, as she sheds her nightshirt and plashes into deeper water. Skin twinkles and turns, and flipping her tailfin, she’s gone.

He nuzzles the grass.


A Moose Let Loose in a China Shop by Richmond Road

A moose let loose in a china shop
Crashing, smashing glass, can’t stop
To smell the roses, taste the air
No thought that someone ought to care
Or feel the fear or hear the cries
Of little children, open eyes
That see the mayhem, think the worst
This moose is crazy, maybe cursed
With some disease or primal fears
Words in his head that no-one hears
With no regrets, ejects a final roar
Thrashing, dashing out the door
A waft of freedom in his nose
Where he’s headed no one knows


Olive, the Other Reindeer by Nancy Brady

Olive loved the holidays, and she thought she was a reindeer. Olive knew she was a reindeer, but she was also one of the meaner reindeer because she, too, laughed and called Rudolph names. The others just went along with Olive’s teasing.

Olive didn’t look like other reindeer; her antlers were much larger. Olive was so insecure about her antlers that she camouflaged their size by wearing a bow between her antlers.

Then she saw some reindeer with antlers like hers. One said, “You’re not a reindeer; you’re a moose.”

“A moose?”

“Yes,” he said. “The Merry Chris-moose, Olive!”


Can Moose Fly? by Margaret G. Hanna

“Mommy, can mooses fly?”

Where do five-year-olds get these questions?

“No, dear. Moose can’t fly. Why do you ask?”

“Because mooses are bigger than reindeers so they could pull more bigger loads than reindeer through the air, couldn’t they?”

There’s a certain logic there. I think.

“But reindeer don’t fly.”

“Yes, they do. They pull Santa’s sleigh.”

Oops. Now what do I say?

“The reason Santa doesn’t use moose is because their big antlers grow sideways. They’d keep hitting their antlers and then they’d get headaches and want to go home.”

“Oh. Okay, Mommy.”

Phew. Got outta that one.


Island of the Flying Moose by Melissa Lemay

Have you ever looked a moose in the eye?
Neither had I.

We traveled to the island of the flying moose.
Traveled by canoe.

On that first night we gathered ‘round the fire.
Oh, what transpired.

Roasted marshmallows, graham crackers, had hot chocolate did we.
You won’t believe.

All of a sudden we heard a great bellow.
From down below.

Then he came traipsing across the great frozen lake.
Make no mistake.

The great beast did not run, swim, or glide.
Nor did I.

Wrecked our campsite did he, this moose flying drunk.
Before we’d begun.
We were done.


Holiday Cookie Exchange by Colleen Chesebro

Hi, Karen, this is Estelle. What cookies are you sharing for the cookie exchange this year?

Estelle’s text asked a simple question, but I didn’t have a clue what to share. Holiday cookies should be spectacular with interesting names. Chocolate chip just wouldn’t do.

I searched my recipe book for the perfect choice. Every cookie recipe I came across had been shared many times before.

I checked Grandma’s cookie recipes. Her tiny scrawl appeared on recipe cards tucked inside a small box. Nothing spectacular here.

The last card in the box caught my eye: Moose Track Cookies. Grandad’s favorite!


The Gift by Michael Fishman

Her eyes were wild, her face flushed and I’m not afraid to admit I liked it. Her passion fueled mine.

“You got it?” I said.

“Oh, yeah! Came today with UPS.”

“Did you—”

“What, start without you? What fun would that be?”

She had a good point and I longed for her self-control.

“Close your eyes.”

“Don’t tease,” I said, but did as I was told.

A rustling and then, “Ok, baby, open.”

Again, I did as I was told and lost my breath when I saw her holding a holiday drum of Harry & David Moose Munch popcorn.


Just Desserts by D. Avery

“There,” Nick said, “You know how I broke my leg, Ilene. Now you can tell me, for real, how you lost yours.”

“I don’t care how you broke your leg, Nick. And mine isn’t lost. I know where it’s buried. Oh, alright, stop pouting. I’ll tell you. It was the mousse.”

“Right, another wild story, like the Huntress. I’m supposed to believe a moose stomped your leg?”

“Mousse; I lost my leg to a surfeit of chocolate mousse.”

“Surf et?”

“Too much of a good thing. My leg got all gouty and swollen till they had to amputate.”



The Nickname That Won’t Go Away by Sue Spitulnik

The adoring fan seated herself near the drum set. Batting her eyelashes, she asked, “Tyrell, why do you have a moose sticker on each of your drums?”

He wasn’t very forthcoming. “Identifies them as mine.”

“But, why a moose?”

He opened his arms, then pulled his hands together and ran them down his front. “You figure it out.”

Kurt intervened. “He’s big, tall, brown, aloof, and eats way more vegetables than anyone else. A skinny, short, white guy called him that in the mess tent one day and it stuck.”

“Oh. Now I get it.”

Tyrell wished she didn’t.


Moose on the Loose? by D, Avery

“Kid, sometimes I jist gotta wunder bout thet Shorty. A hackamore fer a moose! Jeez.”
“Ya cain’t expect she’d use a bit on a moose.”
“Don’t ‘spect her ta be ridin a dang moose!”
“Should a figgered goat ropin’d lead to higher stuff, Pal.”
“I ain’t likin the idea a moose on the ranch. Big, goofy-lookin critters.”
“All’re welcome here Pal. Pal, how come more’n one goose is geese but more’n one moose is moose. Not even mooses.”
“Sure hope they’s jist one.”
“I hope it meets up with a unicorn. If ya know what I mean.”
“Oh, no.”


Pal’s Moose Musins (Part I) by D. Avery

“Ridin a moose… Moose mixin with uni-corns… No, Kid, I don’t like this, not one bit.”
“Relax, Pal, there ain’t no bit, ‘member? It’s a hackamore. Anyways, that moose’s Shorty’s ride. You kin still ride yer fav’rite hoss. What’s the big deal, anyway? Asides uni-corns, an now moose, we’ve written ‘bout cats, chickens, rabbits, flyin pigs, mice, an more.”
“It’s disrespectful— a moose is a wild creature, best left alone.”
“Hmm. Thinkin it’s you wants ta be left alone, Pal. But don’tcha see? The ranch is where ‘maginations run wild an free. Even if that means tamin a moose.”


Pal’s Moose Musins (Part II) by D. Avery

“So, Kid, yer sayin it’s okay fer Shorty ta be ridin a wild moose?”
“Thinkin it’s a wild ride, an it’s all hers. But she’s invited us ta ride along an ‘magine moose in any way we want.”
“Jist sayin, what about what the moose wants? Sayin mebbe it ain’t okay ta tame a moose.”
“An I’m sayin, mebbe it’s the moose’ll do the tamin. Sayin, Pal, jist go where the moose leads.”
“Thing is Kid, this dang moose a Shorty’s gonna lead the ranchers in all directions. All kinds a wild stories.”
“An gen’le stories.”
“S’all good.”


Seein’s B’lievin, So I Hear (Part l) by D. Avery

“Well, Kid, I’m gonna ride out, try an see this moose fer m’self. Might be gone fer a spell.”
“Mebbe not so long, Pal. Look’t there.”
“Oh shift. Frankie! Stop horsin around with thet critter!”
“What’re ya talkin bout, Pal? Jist tryin ta corral Burt, but he’s actin strange. Burt, come here!”
“Best git yer eye checked, Frankie. Thet ain’t Burt. It’s a moose.”
“Well maybe I’ll saddle it up, replace ol’ Burt with a mail moose. It’d be good in deep snow.”
“Thet ain’t no male moose. An, it’s Shorty’s dream ride.”
“Ya goat ta be kiddin.”


Seein’s B’lievin, So I Hear (Part lI) by D. Avery

“Let’s set an watch the moose from the veranda, Pal. Now it’s feeding at the beaver pond. That a calf with it?”
“Thet’s Curly. Jeez, Frankie, ya really should git yer eye checked. Ya might need— would it still be glasses, or jist glass? How kin ya be sure yer gittin folks’ mail where it’s s’posed ta go?”
“Eh, close ‘nough.”
“Really? ‘Cause I got a whole bunch a cards congratulatin me on my new bambeano.”
“Hey! Congrats, Pal!”
“I ain’t got no bambeano! Them cards is fer the LeGumes.”
“I see. I’ll deliver them soon’s Burt shows up.”


Seein’s B’lievin, So I Hear (Part lII) by D. Avery

“Frankie, thought Burt always come when ya called him.”
“He does, Kid. Or did, ‘til his hearin got worse.”
“Ha, I know someone like that.”
“What’d ya say, Kid?”
“Nuthin Pal!
“Hmm. Mebbe ropin this moose an gittin it ta hep ya with yer mail route ain’t a bad idea, Frankie. I bet Shorty wouldn’t mind.”
“What’d Shorty find?”
“A moose, Pal! A mailmoose!”
“Bullshift, Kid. Cain’t train a moose like a hoss.”
“Not with that attitude, Pal. ‘Member, all we have ta do is ‘magine it. Course, I s’pose we could jist ‘magine Burt with better hearin.”


Thank you to all our writers who contributed to this week’s collection!

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  1. Michael B. Fishman

    The “Merry Kiss-Moose” graphic is great! Hats off to whoever created it. I love the meditating pig and is that a fox putting the moves on a baby dinosaur in the lower left corner?

    • D. Avery @shiftnshake

      That is a wonderful graphic, but can we just talk about your flash? Or not. It too was graphic. Or not. But so good.

    • Charli Mills

      Hee, hee. yes, Michael, lots going on in that graphic. I’ve been tending Dreams by making “dream memes.” So, I thought to make a festive wallpaper for my computer to enliven the Unicorn Room, which is painted pink. It was very CR with lots of our shared story icons. Thought you all might get a kick out of it!

      And D. is right — your 99-word story evoke a great image infused with the anticipatory taste of a beloved treat.

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    I heard somewhere that you were upgrading and dueling with Happiness Engineers and all that- so, Charli, can you install a Love button for all these moose flashes, for this moose yard?
    Everyone’s moose-muse shone through! So cool.

    • Charli Mills

      Moose is one rich Muse, that’s for certain! Let’s declare this the Week of the Moose and expect good vibes. Incredible collection!

  3. Richmond Road

    A Moose let Loose in a China Shop

    A moose let loose in a china shop
    Crashing, smashing glass, can’t stop
    To smell the roses, taste the air
    No thought that someone ought to care
    Or feel the fear or hear the cries
    Of little children, open eyes
    That see the mayhem, think the worst
    This moose is crazy, maybe cursed
    With some disease or primal fears
    Words in his head that no-one hears
    With no regrets, ejects a final roar
    Thrashing, dashing out the door
    A waft of freedom in his nose
    Where he’s headed no one knows

    • Charli Mills

      And the Moose-spiration continues! What great blending of myth and story. Love that the iconic bull is a moose. The cadence of your verse creates a complete image.

      • Richmond Road

        Oh, thank you!

    • Charli Mills

      A barrel of moose!

  4. Colleen M. Chesebro

    Your graphic is so cute, Charli. Sophie and Chloe are mad because there are no unicorn cats! What can I say? This was a fabulous collection. Thanks so much for putting this all together for us! ????

    • Charli Mills

      Oh, the Unicorn Cats were off chasing a squirrel, but they’ve returned. One is even initiating a dance-off, lol! Tell Sophie and Chloe their kin returned to the image!

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        Oh… you added them! How sweet! They are both purring up a storm (sleeping in their beds next to my desk). ??????????????

      • Charli Mills

        They are part of the whole, and they are happy when we recognize their presence! Joyous Yule, Colleen and Unicorn Cats!

  5. pedometergeek

    What an a-moosing collection of stories this week. A fun week of writing for everybody, I can tell.

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha — it is a-moosing! Yes, Nan, I appreciate how writers played with this prompt!


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