It’s official. The Cape Buffalo has taken over as my favorite wild animal. It replaces the overwhelmingly strange Okapi that I’ve secretly loved for years. (Fear not. The dog is still my favorite DOMESTICATED animal.)
The change was almost immediate. After hours of STEM activities and research (okay… I mean HOURS of National Geographic Kids television this summer.) I saw the most amazing, truly riveting piece of video footage and it made me think of you, my friends. So, from now on I will be referring to you all as “my herd”. (JK – kind of)
In the video a small band of Cape buffalo are meandering along a riverbank when they are attacked by a contingency of lions. The lions grab a baby buffalo as it falls into the water. The bigger buffaloes take off running. I gasped and thought for sure it was over for that (sweet) baby. But, it gets even worse, my friends, out of the water you see two beady reptile eyes! Then I hear a snap! Oh! (My heart was pounding and I screamed to William, “Oh my goodness!! Is the baby going to get torn in two?? At which point he rolls his eyes and says, “Just WATCH!”) At this point the alligator (crocodile? I can never remember which is which. I should ask William to proofread this. I digress.) has one of the baby’s hooves in its mouth… It’s pulling… the lions are pulling… Then it pops out of the water (all four legs still intact) and is overcome by the lions. (Seriously, the drama I’m re-experiencing as I type is heart wrenching.) So, there I am, standing in the kitchen, with my child watching what appears to be the demise of this baby buffalo. (I’m silently kicking myself for allowing him to watch so much bloodshed. What kind of mom am I anyway!?!?) All of a sudden, THE. MOST. INCREDIBLE. THING. Happened. The big buffaloes CAME BACK… And they were not alone… It is the entire herd, my friends! And they were not walking! They were charging toward the lions! One of them leans down and head butts one of the lions. The lion literally flies through the air. At this point, I can hear the baby buffalo and my jaw drops!! It is alive, my friends! The buffaloes spear the other lions off the baby. The baby is enveloped back into the herd and the lions scatter! Friends! It was amazing!
After watching, I remembered that last summer when we took William to a safari park in Northern California, the guide took us through the Cape Buffalo area. The guide said the herds have been known to attack like this – together… to defend each other… and even to remember someone or something that has previously attacked the herd and then attack when they see them again.
Here’s the video. It is way better than my description; you just have to make sure you watch the entire thing. Promise?
Click here for the Baby Buffalo Video
So, what does this have to do with friendship? I love that in the most terrible of circumstances, the small band runs back and gets the herd. I love that the herd protects the baby, not just in the heat of the attack, but in the aftermath. I love that I thought the baby buffalo was dead, but the herd knew that it wasn’t. The herd knew that the baby needed all of them. I love that this story can be applied to our lives in so many ways, but today I am focusing on you – the herd.
The last three weeks have been a wild ride for me – and for my family. After two and half years of working part-time, I (quite suddenly – like 4 days before school started) went back to teaching. It threw my family into craziness! But, you know who saved us? You. You, my family. You, my close by friends. You, my faraway friends. You, my oldest friends. You, my newest friends.
You are my Cape Buffalo herd. I could NOT have handled it all without you. The prayers and sweet messages and thoughts and sentiments, taking care of and reassuring W, feeding our family, finding our spare key when someone needed to get in and I couldn’t make it home, to help and guidance and answers as I stepped back into the classroom – each minute has filled my heart and soul. You saw that I was surrounded and was about to be torn in two; you brought reinforcements; and you saved the day. I will forever be grateful.
Because of you, I truly will have a Happy New (School) Year! Love to you all, my precious herd.