One of the most heartwarming love stories in all time happened in the small town of Shrewsbury, VT. But this is no ordinary love story, this is the story of a 700 pound moose who courted a Hereford cow named Jessica. Their love affair lasted a whopping 76 days, yet their story will live in the hearts of Vermonters for a lifetime.
Jessica was a happy, healthy Hereford Cow.
She lived on Larry Carrara’s 40-acre farm in Shaftsbury.
One day, a moose spotted Jessica from the woods and came to take a closer look.
The moose quickly became smitten and returned to see his lady love every day.
Who was this macho moose?
For 76 magical days in the fall of 1986, a bull moose dubbed a variety of names including "Josh," "Bullwinkle," "Bruce" and "Valentino" by townspeople and tourists who visited the duo in the pasture.
What did the moose do to impress his beloved Jessica?
“Josh” could be seen on any given day nuzzling Jessica’s back. Along with gazing lovingly at her all day, when food was given to the cows, Josh would gently keep the other cows away so Jessica could get her meal first.
The Vermont newspapers monitored the story carefully.
One even printed pages of moose and cow poetry submitted by readers.
Carrara had to take a leave of absence from his job.
This was to keep an eye on the young lovers, and to tend to the 70,000 visitors that came to see the unlikely pair. Carrara sold moose and cow memorabilia to capitalize on the duo.
In 1987, a year after they met, the pair would go down in literature history.
A hardcover book titled
A Moose For Jessica
was released and quickly sold out of the 30,000 copies first published. Pictures of the pair became famous.
Did this love story literally put Shrewsbury on the map?
Shrewsbury gained such notice that locals theorize that's why mapmaker Rand McNally decided to include the town of about 1,100 on a new world map.
Carrara observed Josh’s behavior closely.
Over the weeks he got so close to Josh that he could touch him, although he never did. He didn’t want to take the wild out of the 700-pound moose.
The moose arrived every morning at dawn.
He stayed all day and retreated at night when Carrara went home to his own wife.
Josh lost his antlers and mating season passed, but Josh stuck around a while longer.
One night, Josh slept under Carrara’s window and he knew that the moose would soon be leaving.
Josh left the next day.
He never came back.