For those of you who don't know, the Land of the Flowered Bed is a imaginary land in the Pond where several stuffed animals, insects and ducks that live in a Spa (the bathroom) have fun adventures.
The main characters are Cookies the owl, the seals, Hairy the hedgehog and Pumble the bee.
But now we have a new critter that followed me home from Alaska: the Anonymous Moose. Her tale follows below....
After living in the Land of the Flowered Bed for months, Hairy thought he would be used to anything that strolled through the door.
He was wrong. Nothing could have prepared him for the creature that came looping through the door late one Friday morning. A shadow stretched across the floor and the seals scurried behind him.
“What is it?” Pumble asked, squinting into the distance.
“I’m not sure,” Hairy answered. The seals trembled behind his stubby legs. “It looks like a buffalo or something.”
“It’s too tall to be a buffalo,” Pumble argued.
“Perhaps a giraffe then?” Hairy patted the seals’ heads reassuringly, but they whimpered and cowered behind his knees.
“Giraffes don’t have horns,” Pumble countered.
“Perhaps it’s a elephant!” the first duck shouted from the Spa. As usual, they had been eavesdropping shamelessly.
“Maybe it’s a ox!” the second duck shouted.
“You know, I think I saw something like that on the Discovery Channel once,” the third duck murmured as she tapped her beak with her wing. Cookies walked up with a book tucked under his wing. He looked at Hairy and Pumble peering into the distance and the seals hiding their eyes with their flippers. Raising an eyebrow, he propped his glasses on his nose and gasped.
“Good heavens!” he cried. “There’s a moose coming towards us!”
“A moose!” Pumble shouted. “That’s what it is. A moose!”
“Why is a moose here?” Hairy pondered aloud. “Isn’t it too hot for him here? Where do they normally live?”
“Up north,” Cookies replied. “Why is a moose here?” The moose stopped in its path and looked around, its brow wrinkled.
“I don’t know,” Hairy replied. “I suppose I should go talk to it.” The seals shrieked and scurried behind Cookies. Hairy took a deep breath and crept toward to the moose. The moose was chewing on its lip as it looked around, an uncertain expression on its face.
Hairy straightened his vest and adjusted his top hat that he wore to welcome all animals. “Hello,” he called in a grand voice. “I’m Hairy, the mayor of the Land of the Flowered Bed. Welcome to our glorious home!”
The moose cocked its head. “Where am I?”
“The Land of the Flowered Bed,” Hairy repeated, peering at the moose. “Are you all right?”
“Well, I’m not sure,” the moose said. She rubbed a hoof against her nose and looked at the carpet, studying the fibers as though the answers were woven there.
“What’s your name?” Hairy asked. “Where are you from?”
“I’m not sure of that either,” the moose said.
“What are you sure of?” Hairy asked. The moose stuck out her tongue and furrowed her brow. Her head tilted and she mumbled something. “I’m sorry?” Hairy said, straining to hear.
“I’m not sure,” the moose repeated. “All I know is I tend to mumble and I’m perpetually confused. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. I’m not sure how one can be perpetually confused. After all, if you know you’re confused then you can’t exactly be confused can you? Of course, I suppose that knowing you’re confused is better than being oblivious and confused.” Her voice trailed off to a whisper as she continued to mumble.
“Right,” Hairy said, a smile frozen on his face. He lead the moose to the others, who were openly gaping at her. “This is…the Anonymous Moose.” The moose smiled and waved her hoof. The other animals stared at her with open mouths.
“What do you mean, anonymous?” Cookies asked. “How is she anonymous?”
“Well, she seems to be a…bit confused,” Hairy said, struggling to be discreet.
“I’m perpetually confused and mumble,” the moose said brightly.
“Is she a moron?” Cookies cocked his head and the moose looked ashamed. The seals crept out behind Cookies legs and slid toward her slowly. One offered a leaf, and the moose took it in her mouth and began to munch loudly.
“Cookies!” Hairy snapped. “She’s not a moron. She’s simply suffering from a memory failure. She doesn’t know her name, where she comes from or why she’s here. It’s like she’s got…”
“Amnesia!” Pumble bellowed, waving his biscuit in excitement. “Just like Blaze lost her memory when Stephen crashed that plane into the ocean cliffs and she thought Jack was her husband…”
“Sorry.” Cookies rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Pumble watches a lot of soap operas.”
“Maybe she’s a spy!” the first duck shouted from the Spa.
“Maybe she’s a secret agent!” the second duck shouted.
“Aren’t those the same things?” the third duck asked.
“Maybe she’s in the witness protection program,” Pumble breathed, spewing crumbs with glee as his eyes lit up. “Or maybe she’s searching for a hidden treasure. Or maybe she worked for a secret government agency and they wiped her memory. Or an alien! She could be an alien!”
“With those fuzzy horns, it looks like she could be an alien,” Cookies muttered under his breath. Hairy elbowed him in the ribs. The moose continued to munch as the seals cooed reassuringly and brought her more leaves.
“Well, the first thing we must do is give you a name,” Hairy said. “What kind of name would you like?”
“A pretty one.” The moose slurped up a flower.
“If she’s from Alaska, names from her native state include Deniiagi, Nanook, Desna, Quannik, Lakota…”
Hairy tried not to giggle at the moose’s horrified expression. “What kinds of things do you like?” he asked.
“The usual,” the moose said. “Leaves, flowers, tasty plants…”
“She’s got that in common with the GLUG,” Hairy mumbled. “We could call you Mumbles! What do you think?”
“I think we might as well call her moron,” Cookies muttered. Hairy sighed and glared at him. Tapping his chin, he began to list names off the top of his head. “Mattie, Moss, Denali, Maggie, Daisy, Rose, Lilly, Sage, Hazel….”
“Wait,” the moose interrupted. “What was that name you said earlier?”
“Which one?” Hairy asked. “Moss, Daisy, Rose, Denali…”
“Denali…” the moose said, chewing on her lower lip. “Denali! Mount McKinley!”
“What the devil is she talking about?” Pumble grumbled.
“Miss Moose McKinley,” the moose said proudly, holding her head up. “That’s my name. Miss Moose McKinley.”
Hairy broke into a grin. “All right, Miss Moose McKinley,” he said, placing a hand on her shoulder and leading her into the dining area. “Are you hungry? I’m sure you’re famished. We can get you some leaves, something to drink…”
“Some air conditioning,” Miss Moose Kinley said, fanning herself with her hoof. “It must be 70 degrees in here.”
As the seals bounded after them, Pumble looked at Cookies. “You know, we still don’t know where she’s from.”
“We’d have to travel up north to learn more about her,” Cookies said. They both looked at the door, than each other. A smile spread over their faces.