Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sisterhood of the Traveling Poo

Young Bull moose in "Moose-nook-you-must-look"

It all began with moose droppings. 

My maternal grandmother started something, and that something was called “Maine Moose Movements”.

Yes, Mammy made collectibles out of moose poop.  Trust me when I say that folks ‘from away’ will buy anything if it is ‘authentic Maine’.  You just can’t get any more authentic than hand-picked, freshly scavenged moose droppings.

Sometimes Mammy’s collectible poops were oven-dried, shellacked and strung as beads on a necklace.  Sometimes feathers and wiggly eyes and pointy beaks were added…and then the poops were mounted on small branches or rocks, where they resembled birds. (Okay…they didn’t resemble birds at all.  They looked like oblong brown turds with feathers stuck on them! But what else in this world (besides a bird) has feathers?  Nothing!  So, using their imaginations, most folks got the gist of it…it was as simple as that.)

Mammy’s Maine Moose Movements sold like hotcakes--which should not be confused with cow pies.  (That’s a completely different market.)

However, Mammy couldn’t make or sell Maine Moose Movements without the raw material.  Mammy needed an inventory.  A warehousing system.

I was—and my children were—her top suppliers.  We never went for a walk in the woods without casting about for the cherished offal.  I got into the habit of stuffing a couple of plastic bags into my pockets when we left the house…just in case.   

Yep, when a moose did his business—it was good for Mammy’s.

When friendship blossomed between me and some wonderful folks from Australia, they were quite naturally interested in stories of North America’s largest mammal.  Just as I was morbidly fascinated with tales of their bazillion poisonous spiders and deadly snakes, and their man-eating crocs and their killer jellyfish and that wild, aggressive bird that pecks people’s eyes out….so they were enthralled with the perils inherent in living side by side with seven-foot-tall, thousand pound moose. 
Bull moose in Lexington.  Photo by friend Buck Simpson

Yes, that’s right.  Moose in the plural is still moose; not meese and not mooses.  

Goose, geese.  Moose, moose. 

Cow, cows.  Moose, moose. 

The American version of the English language is adorable, that way.

In an attempt to familiarize my Aussies with moose, I sent them photos.  Photos of moose in their natural habitat, and photos of moose poops in their natural state.  And then…photos of poops wearing hats and tiny feather boas.  Poops in piles…and poops dangling from earlobes. 
Rescued moose at Gray Animal Farm-Maine

Family heritage is a wonderful thing.

So when my friend Dozy in New South Wales went on safari in Africa, she asked me what I would like for a souvenir.  Naturally, I said “Elephant poop”.  It was a joke.  I knew if I couldn’t send an alpaca wool ornament from the U.S. to Oz, she wouldn’t be able to send elephant dung from Zambezi to Maine.

The good news is: I was wrong.  Dozy found the perfect souvenir—a greeting card made out of dried, compressed elepoo!  It was wonderful, hilarious… the ideal gift to receive from Africa. 

A year later, Dozy went to see the King Tut exhibit when it came to Melbourne.  Always thoughtful and generous, she asked me what I wanted for a keep-sake, this time.

“Mummy poo, of course!” I snickered, knowing that was an impossible request but also knowing Dozy would get a kick out of my answer.  Little did I comprehend the tenacity of this woman, though!  Ten days later, a bag of scarab beetles (a.k.a. DUNG beetles) arrived in the mail from my friend!  They weren’t actual scarabs, but they were replicas made in Egypt….replicas of bugs that ate…mummy poo.  I laughed and cried at the same time.  What a great gift!  I was so overwhelmed that I tried to eat one. 

But that’s the story for another day.

Before I knew it, sweet Dozy was planning a trip to New Zealand for a long-overdue visit to her best friend’s home.  Fleetingly, I wondered…would my dear friend spend part of her well-earned vacation shopping for a gift that was in keeping with our theme?

Sure enough, she did it.  Dozy rummaged the shops until she found…

Kiwi kucka. 

Kiwi.  The flightless bird of New Zealand whose poos are (according to the package) very strong-smelling; making them easy to find on the forest floor—which makes it easier to avoid stepping in them. 

Just in case you want to make necklaces out of them, you see.

Only Dozy could find such a stellar gift.  It was not only hilarious; it was nutritional and educational!  After all, until I received her package, I thought kiwis were round, green and edible.  But apparently, only their poo is marketed as a delicious confection. 

There’s no way I can ever find gifts for Dozy to equal those which she’s given me.  The woman has provided smiles to last a lifetime.  But I have to try, right?  I mean…this can’t be a one-sided relationship!  So, in keeping with our theme, I thought perhaps she might get a charge out of this unique ‘confection’ dispenser.  As you push up on the legs… the tail moves out of the way, and…

Aw, I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so I’ll let Dozy do the ultimate analysis. 



  1. That was a brilliant post - LOL !!!!
    And as for your little fluffy pellet pooper all I can say is 'interesting.....'
    Is that a look of intense concentraion on his face or does he just have the sh#ts with everything ???

  2. Hey sweetie. :o)

    Nah...I think he's just a Scrooge. Hates Christmas. Or hats. :o)

    Love you!

  3. G'day gorgeous

    He sure looks grumpy about something....heheh

    Love you too (you now know how much) !

  4. $hi+l0@d$????

    Me, too, sweets.

    xoxo xoxo

  5. Of Course !!!

    What else could the answer be ?

    Hugs xxxxxx