A Moaning in the Alaskan Woods

“The end is near,” I thought to myself.

I was in my office last week, stressing a little bit about how much work I had to do in order to close out the books for the Lodge. Then I got a call from my friend Kris. She lives in a cabin and also works for the Lodge.

“I heard it again,” she said, the stress in her voice.

It was more moaning, she said. She had heard it the night before last, and she’d told a few of us the story. She had thought she had heard a four-wheeler, like the wheeler was nearby to the cabin, like real close. And it sounded like the wheeler had stopped, and then there was just this sound, this painful moaning. It was just off in the woods beside her cabin.

She was a little on edge already. Something like a month before, a hiker that she had talked to had gone missing. Notices and alerts were issued, and recently the hiker’s body had been found in one of the rivers.

A haunting? I don’t assume supernatural or psychic phenomena, but neither to I dismiss the possibility. I grew up Christian and I grew up watching The X-Files.

I didn’t know what to tell her. I asked about the locks, but I had already mentioned that when she told me about it before. She said that she was going to hop on the wheeler and come into town. Then we hung up.

I was no use.

When she arrived, Kris came into the office.

“So,” I joked, “can I mark you safe on Facebook?” I was trying to relax the tension but only marginally succeeded.

We speculated for a while, but really it was of little good. What could it possibly be? Some creepy stalker? Someone who is legitimately lost? A job for Mulder and Scully? More than anything it was a mystery, and I had no idea.

After our speculation had run it’s course, though, the mystery was solved by Joey, our maintenance manager here at the Lodge.

Joey came into the office. He listened to the story.

He smiled. Then his smile grew bigger.

“It’s a moose,” he said.

It took a while for it to really sink in.

“A moose?”

If anyone would know, it would be Joey, the hunter from Montana. A quick search of YouTube confirmed that moose do, in fact, moan, the males do, anyway. Right now it’s mating season for moose, and male moose moan, sounding about as pathetic as you might expect when a guy is needing a little love.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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