Buffalo, like deer and goats, come in to rut each fall. They butt heads, strut about, fight, buck, and snort all in an attempt to gain favor with the ladies and the honor of being top bull – the one who gets the pleasure of fathering the next generations of calves.
Fortunately our somewhat domesticated herd settles this annual dispute without too much violence. There is a bit of bucking and snorting, but rarely anything this dramatic.
So, after a minor scuffle or two each year, we get to welcome a whole bunch of these little guys in the spring.
But by this time of year these carmel-colored cuties are beginning to go through that awkward teenage phase.
But really, they are still just babies.
It’s the same cycle year after year. Fighting, hanky-panky, a long, cold winter, babies, summer, and they start again in the fall. But every once in a while, the cycle is broken, or at least altered.
Today, an unusually cool day for August, Chet wanted me to go on a Kubota ride with him. For those of you who do not know, this is a Kubota…
Anyway, I was enjoying an afternoon of pure laziness (school starts Monday). But when a freckle-faced nine year old asks you to hang out with him, you don’t turn it down if you can help it. At least that’s my policy. Because I know from having had a nine year old boy once before that the days when they really beg you to just hang out with them are fleeting.
So, away we went on a Kubota ride, enjoying the sunshine and 75 degree weather. We drove through the buffalo herd and turned to ride through the bottom pasture along the river. That’s when we noticed one buffalo all alone. Buffalo have a strong herd instinct, so when you see one off by itself, that’s usually a bad sign that it’s sick. Not this time. As we got closer we saw the reason for her solitude. In fact, she wasn’t alone after all.
Chet was elated. It’s rare to see a baby buffalo so new. Even rarer in the late summer. He couldn’t believe our luck! What if we had stayed in? Or taken a different route? If I had gone with my first instinct, to stay inside and lie around like third base, I would have missed seeing this little guy so new in the world. Worse, I would have missed seeing him with my own little guy. Today was special. But it wasn’t just special because we had a calf born out of season. It was special because I got to experience it with a freckle-faced nine year old boy who was happy just to be with me. The calf? She was a bonus. A cute, surprise, late-summer bonus.
This post was linked at The Prairie Homestead Blog Hop