Inside Front Cover - The West Bay Moose: A Story from A. Peter Murray West Bay Road
ISSUE : Issue 70
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/6/1
The West Bay Moose A Story from A, Peter Murray West Bay Road One good moose story provokes another. Readers will re? member the two we had In Issue 61. Here's "A true story from A. Peter Murray, West Bay Road, Inverness County, now re? siding in Sydney." The drawings are by the noted sign paint? er, John Tinski. A A It is believed around the 1930s that the Government of Nova Scotia decided to populate Cape Breton with the moose. Several were placed on the North High? lands and two on MacAs- kills Mountain, Inverness County, overlooking Big Brook, between West Bay Road settlement and the vil? lage of River Denys. A. Peter Murray Away back on this mountain lived an old couple, John and Annie MacAskill, brother and sister. The MacAskills watched the moose in their hay field for over a year and then one became missing. The old couple began to feed the remaining one (a bull) and it became very tame, a real pet and, with the extra good things to eat, it grew to an enormous size and was quite the tourist attraction. They came from miles away to see the pride and joy • the Mac? Askill pet moose. One day in the early part of the summer the animal also went missing, and Mr. MacAskill would walk miles and miles looking day after day and calling for the animal. On the very top of the MacAskill Mountain there is a beautiful large lake known to have plenty of trout. Mr. MacAskill was delighted to find old tracks of his pet around the lake but no other trace whatsoever. It was late in the fall, a sprinkle of snow on the ground • and the big bull moose returned • starving hungry. And it seemed different • bolder and demanding more to eat than they had to offer. They gave it apples and cow feed and then they closed the porch door, only to have it pushed in by the huge antlers. The inside wooden button was no match ''!'' ' ''"' ''' '"'' moose's strength. The ' ' ~'V '' P*''' ''' gentleman, annoyed " "'' *' by all this, took his cane and began to drive the animal away, lashing it across the head and horns. With this the animal became vicious, attacking the old man and throwing him to the ground. Then the old lady came to the rescue of her brother, only to be caught up in the moose's huge antlers and then slashed heavily to the ground. Just then the big dog came on the scene, attacking and bit? ing the moose on the hind legs and hips, and the moose charged after the dog down through the field, which gave the old couple a chance to feebly help each other into the house. They were able to barricade the door and bandage their cuts and bruises. There was no power nor telephone and they were a long, long distance from the nearest neighbour. The big moose came back and laid on the front lawn all night. So, at daybreak the old gentle? man was feeling better and decided he could open a back window of the house and keep the house between him and the sleeping moose and make his way down the mountain to Mr. William Kennedy's, a C.N.R. , , section man. Kennedy sum- '%'' moned the Chief Forest Rang? er, Mr. Malcolm MacKinnon, Dr. MacKay of West Bay, the Port Hawkesbury Detachment R.C.M.P. led by Cpl. Eric Finney (years later. Staff. Sgt. of the Sydney Detach? ment R.C.M.P.) and United Church minister Rev. James P. Kaye, a former R.C.M.P. officer. The Department of Lands and Forests officers decided to lasso the animal, tie it up and take it away. But, in doing this, the moose put up such a strenuous fight that after it was roped and tied, it began to bleed furiously from the nose. So they decided to shoot it and dress it and give every family in the whole ar? ea a lovely roast of moose meat.
Cape Breton's Magazine