Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night....

The water buffalo arrived late Friday night (c. 10pm) just as a thunderstorm was wrapping up. Our brave ranchers managed to get the truck and trailer into our pasture despite the lack of light (no electricity out by the barns) and the challenging terrain. Having left Texarkana at 4am, the buffalo had endured a long trip (made longer by a tire blowout on the way) but they were in fine form when they walked off the truck. I would have been grumpy after all that, but they just calmly walked into the pen and started munching away on the grass. 

We let them out of the pen in the morning and they spent Saturday exploring their new home. They are quite curious and very agile, so the steep slopes, deep ditches, and assorted obstacles that make us unsteady on our feet are no problem for them. As we went about our business, they came over to check us out cautiously a couple of times. 

I left Jim to do some work on clearing out the big barn while I went to pick up some bees to replace ones that died this winter. When I returned a few hours later, I found that Jim had bonded with the buffs. Apparently, they came over to him and after he pet them awhile, they lay down. So, taking this as a good sign, he sat in the field with them for awhile--one of the cows even rested her head on his leg. (Pause for everyone to say "Awwwwwwww".)

Since then, we've spent a lot of time with them, petting and scratching them. They, in turn, lick us a lot and gently rub their heads against our legs. Yesterday we waited out a thunderstorm with them--they were very chill. We're fascinated by how much personality these gentle creatures have and are reminded of why we were so taken with them in the first place. We're completely smitten.

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