Go Cow, Go!

“Cow Moose” just doesn’t sound right… that is until we ask ourselves, “Well, isn’t it ‘Bull Moose?'”  As in “Bull Moose Party?”  So “Cow Moose” it is…  funny how the Republicans under TR were deemed the Progressive Party… But then later his distant cousin FDR ran as a “traitor to his class” on the Democrat ticket and “progressed” more than any president of the modern era…  Same as the observation, “Well, didn’t the Republican party (formed around President Lincoln’s candidacy and ultimate victory) free the slaves?”  And finally wasn’t it the Southern Democrats that objected so strenuously to the Civil Rights Act in the 1960’s?    Politics can be so confusing…

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But anyway, back to the bitch-slap delivered by one so-far-anonymous Cow Moose on “Old Ripper…”  Surprised O.R. didn’t send in one of his pack-mates to take the first blow, but then he must be the kind that leads from the front… But woe be to the calf, now with his/her mother occupied, the flank is exposed!  Mark! Where are you?!?

OK, Given a Choice…

…of Mark and Cherry canoodling or a moose calf getting shredded, I’ll take the latter…

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…but without antlers, I don’t know what chance the cow has against this pack.  I think they are both doomed to become a meal… Unless Mark gets there in time with his tranquilizer gun!

The moose census keeps dropping in my home state of Minnesota, and the wolves are being blamed… (or is it climate change??)  That, and we are constantly going to court to decide how many wolves to shoot in order to keep their numbers in check, having taken them off the endangered species list…  This is all very confusing and at times emotional.

Where’s Marlin Perkins??

Do any of you remember?  Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom?  Sunday nights before Disney…  he and his barefoot sidekick Jim Fowler would brave the wilds and get into just such situations as the one we see unfolding before us!

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Pack hunting at its finest!  the stereotypical cunning wolf…  has there ever been one not depicted this way?  “Goober the not-so-cunning” wouldn’t be quite as interesting, plus he wouldn’t last very long without prey in his belly!

‘Old’ this and ‘Old’ that…

Old Ripper has been the Alpha for how long?  And how do we know it’s him?  In the Trailverse, the local animals all have names, at least the ones that matter, which doesn’t bode well for the so far anonymous moose cow and her calf…

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But given the inappropriate coloring of the moose family, maybe they need to go anyway… I mean, what would the world do with a strain of moose with black fur??

Flash forward:  Mark tranquilizes Ripper, the pack falls into disarray, (for where are they without their leader?) the nameless moose get away, and something about the unconscious Ripper is discovered which leads us on a Lost Forest Adventure. Or this could just be another brief interlude that will be useful 100 days into the next story.  The only reason I am guessing is that I am already bored with this story.  I need to gird myself…

Nature is as Nature does, Mark…

You ought to know that better than anyone!  And while it violates our human sensibilities to realize that young animals are food for Apex Predators, who are we to get in the way??

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Hate to say it Mark, but you’ll have to summon all your Lee Harvey Oswald in the School Book Depository skills if you think you can get off four tranquilizer darts, have each one find its mark, in time to save the calf (not the “baby” thank you very much) from the pack…

And we’re back…

Oh look, Honey.  Wildlife.  Shocking.  Only maybe it is…  these moose look like they have been ejected from the underworld…  Mother Moose’s eyes look as thought they are glowing red…  Certainly their coat color is all wrong- has there been an oil spill?  Has a tanker train gone off the rails?  That would certainly be timely what with what’s going down in West Virginia right now…

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So good to be back, though… no questions, no repercussions from the trip, no insurance adjusters interrogating the Trails.  Never mind that the Swan is in a million pieces and there is a disembodied Pony Tail floating around…  Let’s see what happens next, kids!

That’s right, Vince!!

Taking anyone or anything for granted is a serious wrong that needs righting…  Is there any end to the lessons that we can learn from Mark Trail!?!

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Even though that was meant as a rhetorical question, I’d have to say no, there is not.  Witness the brilliance of one Rusty Trail featured in today’s installment- one meant to fill our brains with all manner of outdoor knowledge…

Rusty Bug

That’s right, Rusty, we do always see more bugs during the summer months…  because at least where I live it’s too friggin’ cold for anything to be alive outdoors during the winter!!

Again, I WANT to thank you…

But it’s just difficult for me to do so…  not sure why, but it just is…

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“Yup, makes me think of my own wife, who I abandon on weekends to come spend nights in my ancestral swamp-home…  but she understands- that there needs to be “Vince time” and nothing gets in the way of that!  But won’t I have a story for her when I get back home this time…  normally nothing goes on and I have little or nothing to share- your coming here really got the Ol’ Swamp rockin’…” he would seem to be saying…

And the Wimpy shall inherit the earth…

Go ahead, Justin, you do that.  While you are there, check into what Mitchum paid for the swamp land…  you might have to think twice about your plans to donate it…

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I am having trouble accounting for the number and the size of the figures on the dock… The voice that would be Justin’s is coming from the largest figure- what? did he grow suddenly as his eco-intentions were made known to the Swamp Gods?

And who are all the people?  Counting Vince (oh, Vince we hardly got to know you…) there should only be four people, and while the figures are small, none of them appears to be Cherry…  and who is driving the boat?  Is that the “Bruce,” taken into custody along with Mitchum and BGwB?

Finally a plug for W&W Magazine…  I sense we are going to be at Lost Forest tomorrow!

…and from the Comics Curmudgeon:

Mark Trail would like to remind you that you can be duped and held at gunpoint by your closest friend, live in terror of your life for days, see a man blown to bits in an explosion, and have your company’s finances thrown into disarray, and just walk back to your office like nothing happened, like the world’s the same as it ever was! Don’t worry, some good press in Woods and Wildlife Magazine will smooth this whole thing over.

OK, Mark, wipe that eco-smug look off your face..

And how exactly does a person donate property to a “Swamp?”  Is there a swamp-monster?  A Swamp-Keeper?  A Swamp-Trust?  Well, it turns out that there is…  Well at least there is The Trust for Public Land, which has among its projects 1,400 acres of the Great Dismal…

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Oh, whither thou goest now, Mr. Trail?  The end of a story, especially a pot-boiler like this one, is always a bit of a letdown…  I shall miss Justin’s sad, sad face… the way he can switch it on and off, like today, going from panel two to panel three.  Do you suppose he practices his expressions in the mirror in the Executive Washroom??