She's lurking out there in the dark. Somewhere. I can't see her, but our two dogs know she is there. Kayt glimpsed her this morning, just for a second or two before she melted back into the woods. Her tracks are all over the yard and up and down our road. It is our Elusive Moose. All winter she has eluded us, tempting the dogs with fresh tracks in the snow to snuffle, but staying just out of view. Once she walked across the front porch just minutes between two dog potty breaks.
Tonight, the moon is nearly full, and we have six inches of fresh snow. The dogs ask to be let out, but when we go outside, they huddle next to each other, taking turns to pee. Both lift their heads and sniff the air deeply. What does a lurking moose smell like, I wonder? Borealys, more daring now than Ursa, pulls on her leash, snuffling the path leading up the hill towards the road. Suddenly I see what she does: fresh tracks, just seconds old, the edges still sharp and distinct. I hold my breath, listening as intently as I can, watching Borealys as she sniffs the air, centers and triangulates, and then raises her right foot in a point. I still can't spot the Elusive Moose, but I know she is there.