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Huckleberries: This Mudgy, calf best admired from afar

First, you should know that Mudgy isn’t the only moose in Coeur d’Alene who’s “all around the town.” There’s a herd of them. Like the cow and calf that Scott Maben and 6-year-old daughter, Joey, encountered Wednesday. Mudgy, of course, is the fictional character created by local children’s author Susan Nipp who wanders the Lake City looking for mouse buddy Millie. Downtown visitors will find five sculptures of the moose and mouse and can retrace Mudgy’s search for Millie from Tubbs Hill to Independence Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Joey Maben is a big fan of “Mudgy & Millie” – so much so that she wanted to ride the Mama Moose and calf she saw near her Centennial Place (near Lake City High) bus stop. Some of the other kids on her route wanted to hop aboard, too. Luckily, Joey’s father, a deputy city editor for this newspaper, persuaded the kids to stay away from the unpredictable animals. And thanks to Scott’s diligence, the moose, her calf and the children lived happily ever after.

Sturdy Mudgy

Speaking of Mudgy … there’s a reason that the bronze statue of the moose at Independence Point doesn’t topple over or break when children of all ages climb aboard. Artist Terry Lee knew that kids would climb on his bronzes. So he added structural reinforcement to their interiors, according to his sister, Coeur d’Alene Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander, who sez: “If you notice, some of the sculptures have shiny spots where the patina has been rubbed off from the hand pats they get.” How strong are Terry’s bronzes? I’ve seen a goofy teen boy at Independence Point hanging from an antler in an unsuccessful attempt to damage one.


Poet’s Corner: To spend all the money/the President wishes/we’ll need one more feat like/the loaves and the fishes – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Lord, Please Send Us A Budget Miracle”) … What do the 1st Congressional District in Idaho and the 5th District in Washington share in common? Reps. Raul Labrador (Idaho) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington) scored a zero out of 25 enviro votes in a League of Conservation Voters scorecard for the spending bill. Which probably gives Labrador an A-plus grade in conservative Idaho … Only one North Idaho legislator made the Top 10 in that Idaho Fraternal Order of Police shooting contest for legislators last week: Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, at No. 9 of 28. Which means Vick outshot all Dem colleagues – none of whom made the Top 10. Does that mean Idaho Repubs are straighter shooters than Idaho Dems? Not exactly … Speaking of guns, I was surprised to see that only 53 percent of my blog ( readers oppose current legislation that would allow guns to be carried on college campuses in Idaho.

Parting shot

It’s hard to decide which statement by North Idaho legislators, in Districts 2-5, was the most heartless after all eight of them voted in the 41-28 minority against extending benefits to the 17,000 unemployed Idahoans. But I gave newby Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, the nod for this foot-in-mouther: “I understand there’s people on the verge of losing their house and things. But we have to stop it sometime. … When is it ever going to end?” Marie Antoinette said it better: “Let them eat cake.”