When the chips are down,. . .  

DevilDogDan 62M
7 posts
8/6/2006 10:34 pm
When the chips are down,. . .

the buffalo is empty

This buffalo feels a little empty tonight. Does having writer's block mean I'm a writer. Anyway; thought I'd give a brief explanation for my blog title. I've been a buffalo lover since I was about nine or ten and no, I'm not into beastiality - it's just an expression of speech. Around that age I read a book called Shag: Last of the Plains Buffalo and I was hooked. One reason I like buffalo is that we share a lot of characteristics. We're both big, pretty easy-going, take life as it comes, but are not someone to be on the wrong side of when we do get in a foul mood. Unlike buffalo, I don't have the hump, the shaggy hair, or the horns. Well, maybe the horns every now and again but I try to hide them when I'm in public. I've learned a few things about buffalo from first-hand experience. During my first year in the Marine Corps I spent several months in artillery school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Fort Sill borders the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge where there are several good sized buffalo herds. There is a fence between Fort Sill and the Refuge but to an adult buffalo this "fence" probably looks and feels like a piece of twine strung between a couple of twigs. Since buffalo can't read, they most likely didn't know they weren't supposed to leave the refuge and come on the military reservation. Even if they could read, they probably would have laughed as they ground the signs into the dirt on their way to wherever they were headed. One day I was part of an advance party whose job it was to prepare an area for our battery to move into. This area had probably been chosen by a Major or Colonel who had looked at a map and believed that the buffalo were living by the military's rules. When we pulled into our clearing in a truck and a couple of jeeps, we noticed that the three or four buffalo having lunch just outside the clearing became a little restless as a result of all our activity. This led to the buffalo wandering into the clearing in a somewhat "agitated" manner and to our quick departure as we saw no need to test any part of ourselves or the vehicles against our furry, brown greeters. Flash forward about twenty years. This time I'm driving through the refuge with my kids for the specific purpose of seeing the buffalo. When we spotted a few, less than a hundred yards off the road having breakfast (they spend a lot of time eating), I pulled the car over so we could watch and take pictures. The buffalo chose that time to decide the grass was greener on the other side of the road and started meandering toward it. Problem was, my car was directly on the path between where they had been and where they wanted to be. Remembering my earlier lesson with buffalo attitude and behavior, I decided moving the car forward several feet was the "better part of valor." The buffalo never wavered from their direct path and my kids got to see them up close and personal from the back seat of the car not more than four feet away from them. So that's why "The Restless Buffalo". I'm just here partaking of what the "range" has to offer, contributing my "chips" every once in a while, taking life as it comes, and not putting up with any crap. DDD


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