Back in the day when Younger Son was even younger, we acquired a moose puppet that he named Bradley. Bradley J. Moose, if you are not into that brevity thing. (Name the source of that quote.)
Bradley became a sort of family pet, just like the dogs and cats. YS and I gradually built up a complete persona for him.
- He often drank to excess.
- He was a member of the Moose Lodge.
- The Moose Lodge was housed in a pole shed somewhere in the woods.
- The Lodge had an official Moosemobile, an aged conversion van not unlike our own.
- Bradley was, not to put too fine a point on it, not very bright.
YS had the typical issues as a middle-schooler — angst, resentment, rebellion, insecurity, searching for his own identity — and it seemed to me that he dealt with some of them by projecting them onto Bradley.
Elder Son did not care for Bradley and would get annoyed when he witnessed his mother and younger brother playing around with him. He particularly did not like the voices we used for Brad. (Elder Son spent fourteen years being annoyed with YS, from YS’s birth and until he, ES, went off to college,)
After ES left, YS and I couldn’t find Bradley. After several months of fruitless on-and-off searching, I emailed him, asking if he had any idea where BJM was hiding. He replied that perhaps we should look in the bottom drawer of seldom-used filing cabinet. Yup, Bradley had been there all along.
We tortured Bradley regularly. Here he is hanging by a painting of my grandfather, left, and hanging above the Christmas tree and squirrel cage, right. The second photo was taken after YS and I had had fun tossing the moose across the open foyer into the Christmas tree.