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Story of the Orange Moose! Black River Falls Best Western Arrowhead Lodge & Suites

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Over 100 miles of ATV Trails and they start here

There are many legends of the world's most unusual lawn ornament. This is one of them…

Enjoy The Great Golf Getaway at the Beautiful Skyline Golf Course!

Legend has it that about a hundred years ago an old Norwegian bachelor farmer name Torvaald Kjorvak found a wounded moose calf in the northern part of the Black River Forest when he was hunting one day. The calf was injured and starving and its mother was nowhere to be found. Torvaald brought the young animal back to his barn and nursed it back to health.

Now Torvaald came from a long line of inventors back in the old country. It was part of his nature to experiment, and he had been working on a new fortified grain mixture for his livestock, but with no success. When he gave the mysterious mixture to his beef cattle it caused excessive gas buildup in the poor animals, and rather more unfortunate than usual olfactory consequences for anyone standing downwind of the herd, but it didn't improve their nutrition or health one bit.

He decided to try the mixture on the moose, and from the start it was amazing. The animal grew quicker and bigger than Torvaald had ever seen an ungulate animal grow before. The mixture was a wonder drug for the moose. After a full year of feeding, the bachelor farmer noticed something strange beginning to happen, apart from the fact that this critter was now almost twelve feet tall.

It was starting to turn an odd color. It might have been a high level of beta carotene in the alfalfa mixture or it might have been an unusual genetic glitch in his pet moose, but either way, the animal was turning orange. Not a bright orange at first, more like a dusty tangerine in the beginning. But it was changing color before Torvaald's eyes.

Well, this was adding even more interest to his giant moose, which became the talk of the neighborhood. People were going out of their way to visit the moose, and were even willing to pay to see it up close. The bigger the moose got, the oranger it got as well. Finally Torvaald decided to take his pet on tour. He bought a special wagon, hooked up his draft team to it, loaded up the orange moose, and headed for fame and fortune.

Torvaald and the "Magic Moose" were a hit throughout the Midwest. They raved in Des Moines, they thronged in Omaha, they went wild in Peoria, and Chicago…Chicago rolled out the red carpet! Parades, speeches, fetes, cocktail parties… Torvaald and his moose were the toast of the town.

Things were going along so well that any Midwesterner would start to become suspicious of so much success. Fame isn't a natural condition for people like Torvaald Kjorvak. It would have to paid for, and one day the bill came due.

One day the moose took ill. It was a sort of moose malaise. The parties, the crowds, the hoofprint autographs, all of it became hateful to the animal. Torvaald's beloved pet was depressed, and these were the days before antidepressants. Torvaald tried to console his friend, but nothing worked. Little by little the moose was losing interest in life. Torvaald knew he had to get back home before it was too late.

As the train pulled into Black River Falls amid throngs of fans who had been waiting for the return of their hometown moose-made-good, Torvaald sat in the baggage car stroking his pet's orange forehead. It was too late. The unhappy Norwegian didn't want to say goodbye to his special giant friend, but the moose bade farewell with a final flick of his antler, and was gone.

Well! The town nearly folded up in grief. The orange moose was laid in state at the courthouse, and hundreds came for three days to mourn the passing of the moose.

Torvaald was inconsolable. He went back to his farm and burned all his special feed mix. Never again would he tamper with the unknown. Instead he quickly studied up on taxidermy and began work on the greatest task of his life. For months he slaved with artistic fervor, and little by little the giant moose you recognize today emerged through his loving hands, preserved for all posterity with majesty and poise.

Not even Roy Rogers' horse Trigger could match this grandeur. The Orange Moose lives! It is an honor and privilege for Arrowhead Lodge to be home to this monument, this colossus, this eighth wonder of the world…