This is the sixth of my “Advent Calendar” Christmas ornament posts. For some background information about this project and why I’m challenging myself to complete it, see here. Note: it’s entirely possible some of these memories are inexact, but I’m sticking with them anyway.
|Moose on a motorcycle
In Grandmaman’s living room, under the squat black-and-white TV, was a shelf that held a small collection of books for the grandchildren. Two hardcover Tintin comic books, one Asterix comic book, an Ou Est Charlie (Quebec’s translation of Where’s Waldo), and one English book – Too-Loose, the Chocolate Moose.
I have to think that the book was purchased with my siblings and me in mind, as we were the only grandkids who spoke enough English to enjoy an English book. It’s funny how, so many years later, I remember the physical book itself more than the story it contained. All I can remember about the story is that it was about a moose who was made of chocolate, and who didn’t fit in because he left chocolate drippings everywhere and it made him really easy to find when he played hide-and-seek. The poor moose in the illustrations looked like he was dripping with mud, not chocolate, or at least I thought so at the time. Actually, if I’m being really honest, I was sometimes suspicious that he was made of poop. Hey, I was young. Poop was funny.
The book was square, thin, with a hard beige cover and thick paper pages. It smelled funny. I thought, as a child, that maybe they had tried to make the book smell like chocolate and failed miserably. Years later, a walk through a used bookstore, with its musty bookish smell, still brings back memories of the Chocolate Moose. It brings me right back to being small, sitting on Grandmaman’s compact square ottoman, the one with the four hard buttons that made divots in the deep brown faux-leather, quietly flipping through that book while the grownups laughed about grownup things in the kitchen.