Giddy Up Redux

For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. The first of these appeared in my Camp Pinebow series, which is an extension of the Village Stories set in a summer camp. This was rewritten somewhat to fit into Camp Pinebow – for a previous version & discussion see 

Giddy Up

a mainland business consortium

wanted our village 

to invest in a moose riding academy

where young ladies of a certain pedigree

would learn to ride to the hounds on moose


these men had elaborate blue prints

detailed architectural models

all they needed were investors

it would take a lot of our money

to make money

so we wouldn’t be so dependent 

on the fission plant or the strip bars

to put food on the table

when the villagers were reluctant 

to part with their hard-earned cash

these men became derisive 

of our close-minded 

small-town mentality

of our inability to see this great opportunity

we offered to invest if they could

show us how to ride a moose


my Dad 

took them to the moose breeding ground

we followed to witness this spectacle

much to everyone’s surprise 

these city men were able 

to get a saddle on a smaller one

when one of them climbed on it 

the moose wouldn’t move

it barely looked up at him 

as the man dug his heels into its sides

saying “giddy up – get a move on”

the moose’s dung-caked tail 

swatted the back of the man’s head


when Brandi Toffee

their buxom spokesmodel

arrived to sit on the saddled moose

it went berserk

sexually aroused by the female legs

clamped to its back

the sight of the moose’s erection

caused the city men to fall into a swoon

which gave us no end of mirth

the spokesmodel lost her hair extensions

as they got snagged on maple branches 

while she fled though the woods

the aroused moose bellowed pitifully 

when it trapped her in her SUV

when we went to the SUV 

to rescue Brandi

she was gone


the doors were ripped off 

crumpled like paper cups

the windshield covered with marks

small dainty hoof marks

hundreds of them

round hollow

Brandi Toffee was never seen



the moose riding academy never opened

and we villagers kept 

our hard-earned money


One of my Facebook feeds is news from Cape Breton & often the ‘news’ is of yet another small business opening there to boost the economy. Now with the legalization of marijuana there is a flood of hemp-centric businesses looking tax breaks to settle on the Island. The moose riding academy may sound far fetch but there have been equally as absurd proposals.


The piece also reinforces the presence & power of the moose. There are some in Cape Breton, there are more deer than moose to be found but the moose is a much more ‘amusing’ creature that deserves to be mythologized beyond that painting of the Queen riding a moose. She’s side-saddle, of course.


Most of this is fabricated, though I recall one time when a car plant (that eventually folded) had some starlet brought in for the opening ceremony. I don’t think they had celebrities for the closing. But they didn’t slink away in the night the way a few of these enterprises did. I recall one that built a new building, hired staff, then never opened. The pockets just weren’t deep enough.

In Pinebow this is one of the campfire stories. To fit it in I added a few scary details that are classic horror movie cliches. I enjoy the way it takes the moose mythos into darker dimension. 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

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