I've watched this antler, atop this stone wall, for a lot of years, now.
Dad acquired it somewhere, many moons ago, and set it here.
Like watching children grow, in reverse, you don't really notice any change, from day to day, even year to year.
Until that one day, when you stop, and realize what you've missed, all at once.
It hits you, like a slap, in the face.
Not a mean, fighting slap, more like a slap to a child's cheek, after he bites his brother. Or the dog.
Just enough to make you realize the seriousness of the situation.
Time has passed, since a proud bull moose once sported this very antler.
Years. Decades, even.
Antlers are a fantastic Natural wonder.
That old moose dropped his horns, every winter, when the nubs, of his new set, pushed the old ones out of the way.
In an amazing feat of growth, his new, slightly larger, antlers would fully mature in just 4 or 5 months. He'd have exactly enough time to get his balance, and grace, back in order, and get those babies all polished up, ready for mating season.
There'd be some fighting. There's always bigger bulls, in the woods, but there's just something about a hot cow moose.
Her milkshake works on all of the boys.
Those same antlers will clash, with others, as the half ton bachelors sort out their bracket chart.
Judging by the size, of the antler, this guy would have been in the middle of it.
Big enough, to lay some claims, and back them up. Not so big, that he was king of the woods, he'd have been dreading the inevitable beatings, that were sure to come his way. Treading softly.
Eventually, I hope his day came, when he had the giant rack, and the shoulders, to back it up. Still a soldier of battle, but now, reaping more of the spoils of victory.
Either way, that old moose is long gone, by now, generations have come, and gone, this antler is undoubtedly his only memorial.
It won't last.
It was solid, to start with, somewhere between hoof, or claw, and straight bone.
Harder than woodpecker lips, as my friend Bill would say.
Still, it's days are numbered. On the ground, exposed to the elements, old Mother Nature has a way of cleaning house. It's diminished, considerably, in the time that I've known it.
Someday, whether I'm still here, or not, that old antler will finally be gone, after such a brilliant showing, having held on, so long, to it's memories.
The last remaining stubs, and remnants, will be unrecognizable, with none of the proud character, of the antler, and the moose, that it once represented.
The pieces will finally fall down, between the stones, and will be completely absorbed, back into their Mother Earth.
Ashes to ashes; Dust to dust.
There will always be more moose, and more horns, in the circles, and cycles, of our world. All of their days are numbered.
Time will always win, in the end.
Use it wisely.