GROTON, Vt. -- A yearling moose and a 20-year-old horse have become pals at a farm just outside Groton village.
The two docile females have apparently bonded, much to the delight of scads of tourists who come by to observe or yell, clap, honk horns, and sing.
Such activity has prompted the landowners where the animals now romp to post their pasture against trespassers.
The family agreed to speak to the Caledonian-Record about the wild moose and their domestic horse on the condition that their name or exact property location not be specified.
For weeks, a young moose was seen wandering around the Groton village area and on July 12 ended up in a field near Route 302 outside the village. The moose enjoyed the pleasure of having the clear-running Wells River at her back and plenty to eat from nearby hayfields, especially at the farm that would serve as her new summer home.
In a hayfield close to that farm, a horse was paddocked. The two animals came together and, before long, the moose was following the horse back to the farmyard and barn. They romped and trotted together and could be seen peering from the barn window or standing side by side at the fence outside the farm's kitchen door.
After more than seven weeks, Mary the Moose, named by farm children, and Little Bit, a Welch Cob, remain friends. Both are brown, the moose taller and longer. Wherever they go, the horse is the leader, and the moose follows. The moose is about a year old, according to neighbors who have spoken with a Vermont game biologist.
The host family does not feed Mary, requiring her to live off the land.
A moose from the wild visiting a farm animal has reminded the host family and visitors of events in 1986. For 76 days, Jessica the Hereford cow and a male moose named Bullwinkle entertained thousands of visitors at the Larry Carrara farm in Shrewsbury, Vt.