• James Walton

Dragging a Moose Down the Stairs

My parents moved us into a little log cabin in the woods the summer before my first year of high school. That fall, I made the freshman basketball team, which held practices at 6am as punishment for being bad at basketball.

It just so happened that the cabin was a half mile behind the high school as the crow flies, but several miles by car. My dad informed me I would be walking to school for 6am practice as punishment for being bad at basketball.

One morning I awoke to find that three feet of snow had fallen overnight. Since "snow days" aren't a thing in Alaska, I set off in the dark. By the time I arrived at school the vice principal was out front, redirecting students to the side entrance.

"What's going on?"

"There's a moose sleeping in front of the main entrance; we're not letting any students go in that way."

"What's going to happen with the moose?"

"Fish and Game are on the way."

When Fish and Game arrived, they darted the moose to tranquilize it, rolled it onto a thick blanket, and four men drug it away.

However, the entrance of my high school was a series of three tiered plazas, each separated by a wide flight of stairs. So to remove the moose the men drug it down those stairs like an oversized roller bag down an airport escalator.

I found that decision strange since the handicap accessible ramp adjacent to those steps was also available.

All this made me late to practice, where my coach made me run suicide sprints as punishment for being bad at basketball.

So the next time you're dragging a drugged moose away from a school, look for an easier way nearby. Chances are the problem you're facing has a solution you may not have considered.



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