I squinted and tried to peer out of the window. I’d taken my contacts out because my eyes were itching so badly with hayfever. I rubbed them and tried again.
‘Can you see it?’
‘See what?’ It was useless, I couldn’t make out much beyond a metre passed the car let alone whatever he was pointing at in the field.
‘That big brown thing over there.’
I squinted some more. I could just make a browny black lump in the distance.
‘See, I told you.’
I stared at the black lump some more. It could have been anything. A rock, a cow, a muddy patch in the otherwise green field. ’What did you tell me? What is it?’
He turned and gave me an incredulous look. ’It’s a moose. I told you they exist.’ He had that smug I’m always right expression on his face.
‘Oh great.’ I sat back and crossed my arms, lip pouting. I’d been living in Lapland for 4 years and the only time I had seen a bloody moose was when I didn’t have my contacts in. Everybody else sees them all the time, my husband regularly comes back home with tales of seeing them crossing the road or standing in fields. I had been beginning to suspect that it was all some giant tourist conspiracy that all Finns were made to sign up to and they they didn’t really exist at all.
I squinted at the lump again. Moose shmoose. Bah.
Wait a cotton pickin’ minute… I looked at my husband and narrowed my eyes. How do I know this is a real moose? How do I know this isn’t all some elaborate hoax.
I can see it all now. The secret meetings and emails, The Secret Kuusamo Moose Association gathering in a forest clearing in the dark of the night, performing secret handshakes and looking shifty.
‘We must stop this English woman from finding out we don’t really have any moose. It could blow the whole ‘lets pretend there are moose in Kuusamo to lure in tourists scam’ wide open.
‘What do we do boss? Shall we take her out?’
‘Maybe. I’ll get on to Sami the assassin. Tim, you find out if there is any other way, another body could make the authorities suspicious. Don’t you know her husband? Get on to him, she must have a weakness.
‘Will do boss.’
He could easily have contacted my husband, threatened him with something serious, like breaking his fishing boat or stealing his nets, you know, something that would really cut deep. Furtive telephone conversations in the dead of the night. Oh hell, they could have been at 2 O’clock in the afternoon with me sat next to him for the amount I understand of his phone conversations. Seriously, the man could be plotting world domination on the phone over breakfast and the first I would know about it was when he started practising his evil laugh.
He could easily have set up the hay fever thing. Sprinkled grass spores around the house. Hidden a bunch of flowers in the glove compartment.
I opened the glove compartment and peered in.
I shut it with a bang
Doesn’t prove anything.
I swivelled in my seat and looked again at the brown lump we’d now driven passed.
Doesn’t prove anything.
I’m on to you, secret-lets-pretend-there’s-moose-in-Kuusamo-society. I’m on to you.