How Often Has This Happened To You? (Close Encounters Of the Buffalo Kind)

When I was out walking the other morning, enjoying one of the last hot days of summer, a dusty red pickup pulled up next to me. A man with a weathered face tipped his hat and said, “Howdy.”

Well, no. He didn’t tip his hat; he wasn’t wearing one. And he didn’t say “howdy”.

What he said was, “Some wild buffalo got loose. We’ve penned them in the next field for now, but they are very dangerous. So be careful.”

“Do you think it will be okay for me to finish my walk?” I asked.

He hesitated. “I wouldn’t recommend it. The fence is flimsy and may not hold them. If they come after you, they will take you down and stomp you to death.”


So I did what anyone would do. I hastened home.

Got my camera, hastened back down the road. And there they were. I turned on my camera and . . . nothing. Thinking the batteries must be dead, I hastened back home, put in new ones, but the camera still didn’t work — probably because of a loose connection. A bit of finagling, and finally I got the thing turned on.

And took my pictures.

(If the photos seem a little fuzzy, it’s because the buffalo were the equivalent of a long city block away, buffalo do not stand still, and I was unsteady because of all that hastening.)