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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Shopping for Porcupine  >  Discussion Questions
Salting a Moose
Essay Summary: 
Bob's fringed flower hasn't returned and he suspects the rising ocean water. Kantner and his wife go moose hunting in cold weather and hit the saline overflow.  They are successful in their hunt, but Seth has to call for a rescue and must bear the embarrassment of needing help and learning a lesson about changing climate and the new danger of saline overflow.

Discussion Questions:    

Why might the failed return of Bob's flower, the fringed gentian, be significant?

Points to consider:

  • The sensitive flower's failure to return may be marking the change in climate, as is the saline overflow.

What does Kantner's run-in with the saline overflow say about the changing climate? (p. 192)

Points to consider:

  • The salt from the ocean water had infiltrated waters that were not normally salty, and Kantner was not accustomed to these conditions in land he'd been hunting his whole life.
  • The water is "funny" and not normal or safe for travel.

What does Kantner mean when he says the price of the moose meat was increasing after his snowmachine engine burned up? (p. 194)

Points to consider:

  • He's referring to the cost of humiliation of calling to be rescued, combined with the cost of fixing the machine in relation to the "free" moose meat.

Final Questions:

Why is this essay titled "Salting a Moose?"

What does this essay reveal about the changing climate and our reliance on technology to survive?

Clarence Wood heard the story and responded that Kantner would "learn." (p. 195) What do you think he learned from the experience?



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