Poem and Artwork by Shira

When Marvin Moose took dance class,
All his friends were quite aghast!
They told him he was crazy,
That this madness couldn't last!

They told him belly dancing
Was not suited to a male.
That made him more determined
That his efforts must not fail!

And so he went to classes,
And he practiced every night.
He practiced, practiced, practiced,
Until he got it right!

At last the teacher told them
They were ready to perform!
She planned a class recital
On an evening still and warm.

The lakeside stage was lovely
On that balmy summer night.
The constellations glittered,
And the full moon cast its light.

He called himself Moosetafa,
For there's power in a name.
The audience applauded and
Out to the stage he came!

With woodpecker percussion,
And the song of frog and loon,
Our moose began his solo
Underneath the smiling moon.

A belt of chains and coins sat
Upon his ample hips.
The scarlet of his pantaloons
Exactly matched his lips.

He left his chest uncovered
To show off his muscles there.
The females were delighted
By his manly crop of hair.

The shimmy of his antlers
Was a wonder to behold!
And from each prong there dangled
A large earring made of gold.

At last his dance was over,
And he bowed a final time.
The audience cheered wildly
For this bull moose in his prime.

© 2000 by Julie Anne Elliot, All Rights Reserved

Portrait of Moosetafa

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Want This Image On A Shirt, Mouse Pad, Or Mug?

Visit Shira's Showcase, an online store, for T-shirts, sweatshirts, mouse pads, and mugs with this image on them.

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About This Poem

In the mid-1970's, a group of college students were counselors at a Lutheran summer camp named EWALU near Strawberry Point, Iowa. One of them was a minister's son named Gundy. History has lost the story of what prompted them to start thinking of moose humor, but soon they were putting moose-y words to familiar songs. For example, sing the following words to the "Mickey Mouse Club" melody:

Who's the leader of the club
That's made for you and me?
M-A-R-V-I-N   M-O-O-S-E!
Marvin Moose, Marvin Moose,
Forever let us hold our antlers high!
Come along and sing the song
And join the jamboree!
M-A-R-V-I-N   M-O-O-S-E!

After that summer, Gundy inflicted his moose humor on two of his friends from high school, Phil and Julie, both of whom were students at the University of Iowa. They in turn carried it to a new place, Iowa City. Soon their circle of friends there were serenading strangers on the street with moose songs. The group, including Carla, Sheila, Tammy, Diana, Steve, Bill, and of course Phil and Julie started calling themselves "the mooses" and extended the original humor to new heights of mooseness. Their favorite song always remained "Marvin Moose". Sometimes they would call each other up on the phone and sing it. Sometimes they would gather under the window of a fellow moose's apartment or trailer and serenade the occupant. Some acquired moose figurines and stuffed mooses. Julie's boyfriend (now husband) started doodling moose cartoons.

Decades later, the Iowa City group of friends have scattered across the United States. They now live in Illinois, Kansas, California, Minnesota, Washington, and Missouri. Gundy, who inspired them all, lives in Idaho. Julie has transformed into Shira, a belly dancer and owner of this web site. How could she possibly resist the temptation to give Marvin Moose a new hobby?

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About The Poet and Artist

Shira, also known as Julie Anne Elliot, has been writing poetry ever since she was about 12 years old. Her poems have been published in several "small press" poetry journals. At age 21, she wrote her first French-language poem: Le Voile De La Nuit. Every now and then, she feels the uncontrollable urge to write something that's utterly silly, and she has found that when that happens, the safest thing to do is go with it. Hence, this little specimen of doggerel.

After a lifetime of thinking she couldn't draw her way out of a paper bag (thanks to some unfortunate input by a nasty art teacher in middle school), Shira has finally let her wonderful husband convince her that maybe her doodles do deserve to see the light of day--or at least the light of your computer monitor!

Shira first started learning Middle Eastern dance in 1981. Dance has been her inspiration, her avenue to making friends in a new community after relocating, and her escape from her "day job" of being a professional Silicon Valley computer nerd.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: The poetry and artwork on this page were done by Shira. Copyright 2000 by Julie Anne Elliot. All rights reserved. If you want to use it elsewhere, you must first get permission. To request such permission, contact Shira.

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