Submitted on Thursday, 12/4/2014, at 4:11 PM

The moose in Frost Library

by Bill Sweet

A mysterious moose has taken up residence at Frost Library, and no one is asking him to leave.

The large, black, detailed metallic sculpture was discovered in the Frost foyer when staff opened the building up the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

“I think it’s beautiful,” said Susan J. Kimball, head of access services at the library, who first discovered the moose.

The moose’s only identifier is a cryptic—and mellow—note, written on birch bark lashed to its neck. It reads, in part:

I CHOOSE WHAT I CHOOSE
AND I CHOOSE FROST,
HERE I RANGE FREELY.
I MOVE AS THE SPIRIT MOVES.

“The sign says he chooses us, and we’re happy to be chosen,” said Amherst College Librarian Bryn I. Geffert. “We’ll have to decide what we're going to do with him. There are probably all kinds of things one can do with a moose. We just have to figure out what they are.”

“It’s only a matter of time before decorations are probably going to start to appearing upon it. We were already talking about Christmas lights,” Kimball said. As a native of the state of Maine, Kimball said she felt compelled to point out that the scale of the moose’s antlers is a bit off, but that doesn't detract from the fine craftsmanship. As writing on birch bark does qualify as a written work, she said she expects the moose’s note “will need to be catalogued, once we enter it into the archives as a monograph.”

Geffert said he hasn’t decided what will be done with the moose ultimately. He is treating it as a gift, as the sculpture appears to be entirely benign in nature.

“As far as we can tell, he’s housebroken. He hasn’t bitten anybody,” Geffert said. And while the metal sculpture is hollow, there is no evidence that it is a Trojan moose, he said.

Amherst being Amherst, the motives behind the moose will likely come under considerable analysis. However, the author of the moose’s missive hopes to minimize that. Sometimes a moose is just a moose, according to the rest of the birch bark note.

I AM A MOOSE.
I AM NOT A STATEMENT.
I AM WHO I AM …
I ABIDE.
ABIDE WITH ME.

The moose abides, for now, at Frost.