Yesterday Aki’s other human and I stumbled upon a moose and her two calves. We were walking along a trail near Anchorage. I was thankful that Aki was back in Juneau, getting the royal treatment from our friends. A momma moose once killed a man in Anchorage for coming too close to her calf. After we took a wide swing around the moose family, they returned to their wild, grassy feast.
I am thinking about our near-moose experience while picking berries near Juneau. We are harvesting this patch because it has not been visited by bears this summer. The berries are plump and plentiful, just as a hungry bear might prefer. The place is remote. The bear could expect privacy while he ate.
I sit on the moss-covered floor to pick, bringing my berry bucket into Aki’s range. The little dog take advantage by stealing berries or a few seconds. She only does it once, even though I did nothing to discourage her. A half-an-hour later I learn the reason for her reticence. A small army of tiny worms crawls out of the berries on which they recently fed. When we get home, we will wash the berries in salt water, which will drive out the remaining worms.