The tent is set up. Your family is nestled in for the night. Somewhere nearby an owl says, ‘who-who! … who-who!’
You say, ‘it’s me. Dave.’
Your family groans.
The owl pipes up again, ‘who-who! … who-who…who!’
You sigh with frustration, ‘I just … told you. Owl.’
Your family is hiking, dawn is right around the corner and you spy a field full of deer. Gathered there in the pre-dawn light they are a majestic sight. Their rituals have existed long before you, and they will continue when you’re dead.
You say, quietly, to your spouse, ‘hey deer?’
She shakes her head. She knows where this is going.
Someone in your family has accidentally forgotten to put some food item in the bear box. A bear has wandered into your campsite and, after consuming the scrap you left out, has wandered into a neighboring campsite and mauled a camper. Seeing the mangled corpse and a trail of blood you cover your children’s eyes and whisper, ‘unbearable.’
Your children have insisted that they each want their own tent, and for some reason you decided to comply instead of forcing them to be uncomfortable in an effort to build their character. And yet, despite having their own tents your children still begin to bicker with each other. You shake your head and say to them lovingly, ‘you kids are in tents.’
Your spouse has divorced you because the awful jokes were slowly driving a wedge into your relationship. Wracked with grief and rage you buy all of the junk food you can fit in a shopping cart, and then drive into the woods. It’s 7:42 am and you are halfway through your chocolate mousse when an actual moose appears in front of you. You stare off in the distance, wishing you hadn’t wrecked your marriage before you begin mumbling endlessly to yourself, ‘mousse, moose … mousse, moose …’