This is what happens when you are a little slap-happy one ‘night’ in the High Arctic. Written by me and my tent buddy, Julie.
Larry and Bob were two lemmings living on the Kanguk Peninsula of Axel Heiberg Island. They were pals who lived in adjacent holes on a river terrace. there was lots to eat, plenty of water, and luxuriant moss to rest on to enjoy the twenty-four hours of summertime daylight.
One day, a gust of wind blew furiously over their terraces. They hid for a few hours. When they finally had the courage to emerge, they were shocked to see a row of brightly colored soft stones by their holes and five huge yellow flowers. From the yellow flowers came the strangest creatures they’d ever seen.
“Dude, that an ugly caribou,” said Larry to Bob.
“Naw, them’s musk oxen. but how they walk like that?” asked Bob.
These oxen would go into their flowers when the sun was low in one part of the sky, but emerge and go away when the sun was on the opposite side of the sky. The oxen would put on huge hooves on their hind legs and go away until the sun was low again.
After a few repeats of this apparent oxen ritual, Larry and Bob started to get bold.
“The oxen are asleep,” said Larry.
“Let’s find their food,” said Bob.
Larry and Bob found where the food was hidden, in strange hollow square rocks. But they couldn’t get into the rocks to get to the food.
“This stinks. Let’s do something else,” said Bob.
“They can’t get to the food without their hooves on,” remarked Larry.
“Uh, yeah?” said Bob.
“So… Let’s get hooves on!”
So Larry and Bob scurried around the flowers looking for hooves. they finally found a matching set when they crawled under a flower petal. Quickly they realized these hooves would not fit on their feet.
But they could tip them over and drag them into the open. They dragged the hooves to the square hollow rocks and waited.
“Wait! they need to be standing up!” exclaimed Larry.
So Larry and Bob stood them up.
Still nothing happened.
“Well, we’re still not wearing them!” said Bob, quite insightfully.
“Yes!” cried Larry.
They each took a hoof and climbed in. They peeked out at the square hollow rocks. Still nothing.
“They stomp!” exclaimed Larry. “So let’s stomp!”
“Um, how?” asked Bob.
So they jumped and the hooves moved. They stomped and stomped. The rocks still didn’t open, so they stomped more.
Suddenly a flower popped open and a particularly wooly musk ox came out, howling and growling.
Larry and Bob lept from their respective hooves and raced back to their holes.