I used to crave chocolate moose— yes, moose—because there was a counter that sold them in the old base lodge at Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain in the early ’80s. The place offered other cast-chocolate Maine kitsch, too—lobsters, lighthouses, seagulls—but it was the moose lollipop I wanted.
Around this time, one sunny afternoon on Lower Narrow Gauge, I told my father I wanted to race. He signed me up for the Lollipop Races, in which every participant earned one. I was beyond thrilled when I scored one of those moose pops. I thought I won it for being fast, a misconception my father did not dispute even though it would cost him thousands in race gear and entry fees over the next decade. I brought it back to the condo and put it on the counter. I didn’t want to eat it—it was so beautiful, with confectionery eyes staring out from under crinkly plastic. It was still there when we headed out to ski the next morning, but not when I returned home. Our dog had jumped onto the counter and eaten it. I was crushed, but when my dear mother took me to the shop to buy a replacement, I began to feel better. And now, 30 years later, I can still remember the taste of those antlers, melting on my tongue.