Every person in Bodden liked Midwinter a lot,
But Beverly, at the time eight, she did not.
“The Midwinter Feast is boring,” she said,
“And I’ve eaten my fill of this pudding and bread.”
“I’d like some excitement to liven my day,
Can I go out in the snow and practise swordplay?”
“No, no,” said her father. “It’s already late,
and too dark outside, you’ll just have to wait.”
Beverly had sat back down at the feast,
And looked at the sauces and fancy roast beast.
When the doors to the great hall were thrown open wide,
And in came the Sergeant-At-Arms with a stride.
“A creature is loose in the village, my lord,
And there’s a danger that one of our men might be gored.”
“A creature?” said Fitz. “What’s this all about?”
“A moose,” said the sergeant. “Call the warriors out.”
“Aha!” said the baron. “You make a fine jest,
But let’s put it aside for the moment and rest.
Now feast on the dinner laid out on the table,
And forget about silly old stories, if we’re able.”
“It’s no joke,” replied Gerald. “It really is loose,
And I’m telling you honestly that it’s a moose.”
“A moose!” said young Beverly. “That’s exciting to hear,
Let’s run to the village and give a great cheer.”
“Oh no,” said the baron, “’tis too dangerous for you,
You must stay here in safety and finish your stew.”
“The moose needs a name,” said young Beverly, drinking,
“And Murray will do in a pinch, I was thinking.”
“So let us take pine cones to Murray,” she said
“And feed him until he lay down his sweet head.
Then your soldiers can tie him up in his sleep.
And take him away from our home, Bodden Keep.”
“Please, Father,” she pleaded, her eyes looking sad.
“I don’t want men to kill him or make him real mad.”
“Very well,” said the baron, “we’ll all do our best,
To chase him away through the gate to the west.”
His knights all drew swords, to the baron’s dismay,
“No, no,” said Lord Richard, “put your weapons away.
We shall do as my daughter has suggested to us
And lure him back out to the country, no fuss.”
Then the soldiers all stood and downed their mead
And rushed to the village with the greatest of speed.
Poor Murray, by now, had destroyed seven stalls,
A barrel, a wagon, and even two walls.
For a moose is quite large, and this one was lost,
And hopelessly running around in the frost.
“Cut him off,” yelled the baron, “and drive him this way,
He’s clearly confused, and must be a stray.”
“Take my pine cones,” said Beverly, “and feed him a few
I’ve heard it’s the one thing that they like to chew.”
So Baron Fitzwilliam tossed a few on the ground,
And Murray the moose, hearing him, turned around.
“He likes them,” said Fitz, “now we’ll lay down some more,
And lure him back through the gatehouse door.”
Beverly watched as the animal pranced,
And gobbled up pine cones, then to her he glanced.
She smiled as their eyes met, and she knew in a thrice
That Murray the moose was incredibly nice.
For spotting a moose on a Midwinter day,
Was thought to be lucky, at least that’s what they say.
And as Murray the moose came in sight of the gate,
He seemed to grow tired of all that he ate.
After letting out a bellow for all men to hear,
He fled through the gateway to then disappear.
A lone tear ran down from Beverly’s eye,
“Come, come,” said her father, “there’s no need to cry.”
Fitz placed his hand on his young daughter’s shoulder,
“Perhaps you’ll see Murray again when you’re older?”
“This was all so exciting,” she started to say,
“But I didn’t want Murray to just run away.
He came here unbidden and filled us with cheer,
And brought us good tidings for the coming New Year.”
So this is the story from many years past,
That makes all us hope for the things that will last.
And next time you see a wild beast on the loose
Remember the story of Murray the Moose