The Moose That Drank Too Much

Artwork: Emily O'Neill

This poem begins with Tycho Brahe (known long previously)

Who owned a rather strange animal that acted deviously

This pet chiefly being Alces alces (also known as a moose)

Had a slight little issue of overindulging when set loose

 

This odd configuration of a moose and man

Became famous in Denmark for the way they ran

So one day a nobleman wrote to Tycho and said

‘Do you have something faster than a deer on a sled?’

                                                                           

Tycho responded with great satisfaction, ‘Indeed, I do!

I’d be perfectly happy to lend my fastest moose to you!

But you will have to wait until after Christmas Day

If my moose (who enjoys Yuletide) is to have his say.’

 

The truth was that the moose was rather partial to

The festive smörgåsbord that was now to ensue:

Pickled herrings, Lucia’s lussekatter, Christmas ham with mustard,

Gravadlax salmon, Jansson’s Temptation, different sorts of custard!

 

But of all Nordic delicacies that day

It was Uncle Jørgen’s mead which made him bray

Oh, it was lovely!  So dark and thick and sweet!

So much better than their bread or cheese or meat!

 

The moose would admit that he had indulged a bit too much

(To the point that for dinner the company had none such)

And Uncle Jørgen took him by his antlers and said,

‘You bloody moose!  You’ve drunk all our ale and ate our spread!’

 

So Tycho ordered his pet back to stable

The moose bowed his head, feeling quite unable

And began to meander down the stairs

Swishing and swashing, having passed all cares

 

Then he stumbled: bumbling, falling and tumbling quite far down

Children laughed at the clown while women did begin to frown

Uncle Jørgen shook his head, ‘No more mead for that goose of a moose!’

A chill ran through Tycho’s synthetic nose and he cried, ‘What the deuce!’

 

As it was, the moose knocked his head against a cannister

And crumbled to the floor beside the wooden bannister

Two days later he died of haemorrhage and was mourned

By his owner Tycho who sobbed, ‘Poor dear, you were warned.’

 

A fortnight passed and he took up his quill (dipping it in ink)

And he wrote to the nobleman saying he was in a kink

‘My best moose (for whom you recently asked) has suddenly passed

And now there is no one to beat a deer on a sled going fast

 

‘However, I have one comfort to suggest

(Don’t think badly of the moose—he was no pest.)

But I do now have this ever-slightest hunch

That I can send you the remaining moose munch.’