Below is short anecdotal story about my oldest son, pictured below. A little #TBT Enjoy and as always – Be Well d.c.d
The following story is true; any embarrassment caused by this story is intentional.
Like most little boys my two-year old son Seth thought it was hilarious to run around outside, naked as the day he arrived on this earth. Knee-locked legs moving like bowling pins attached to a too white torso carried him everywhere at a hectic, almost falling pace. The summer intrigued him. Birds chirping were a wonder. However, watching animals was his favorite summer activity. We lived in Edmonton and it was a short 45-minute drive to Elk Island National Park from our door. The park is home to some of the largest ungulates native to North America. (Yes, I could have said Bison or Buffalo but why give up the opportunity to use such a glorious word as ungulate!)
“We are going to see buffalo today.” I said
“Buth-a-row?” Seth said
“Yes, buffalo.” (Years later he would correct me and explain that they were bison)
That first trip to the park was in our green van. It was a comfortable large vehicle with windows at every seat. In the middle row of seats behind the driver was Seth’s spot. The trip to the park was uneventful until about 5 minutes from the entrance gate when we could see the tall elk fences and a few straggling buffaloes walking around. At a distance, they seemed cute, friendly and majestic.
“Look Seth, buffalo.” I said
Straining from his car seat, he sought to see the mighty animals. However, he couldn’t quite see out. I felt the thump, thump of too short legs kicking with excitement.
I paid our fee and entered the park.
We rounded the corner to the buffalo paddock into two horns and two thousand pounds of male, musk invested buffalo blocking our path. He had escaped. He wasn’t alone; the whole herd was with him. Moving and rooting about, meandering across the road in front of and behind and seemingly on top our now too small vehicle. They seemed unconcerned. I was concerned. In his best outside voice, Seth pointed and called out, “Buth-a-row!” At least someone was happy.
Surrounded, the realization dawned on me. Massive wild animals that could crumple, crush and cripple our van, just by sitting down were on every side. The vision of a trampling stampede dissuaded me from using the horn. The escaped buffaloes had hostages. I could see the 6:00 PM news headline, “Man and Boy kidnapped by Buffalo herd seeking free range rights.”
Then everything stopped. Nothing was moving, not man or buffalo. The open windows allowed the waft of buffalo to enter the hot van. Pungent sharp odour cleared out my sinuses. One of the larger beasts stopped beside Seth’s partially opened window.
Plop, splat, smack, splosh, flap. The sounds were loud. In the rear – view mirror, I saw Seth’s eyes grew larger, and larger as he saw where the sounds originated. One of the noble creatures was making a deposit, right beside Seth. It was an impressive display of excrement, a flow that seemed to go on forever. All the while Seth looked, amazed. Amazed at what I am not sure- and I did not ask.
The symphony of sound and smell stopped and, as if they had been waiting for the deluge to finish, the buffaloes moved off. I image they were all laughing and pointing at my not green van. Finally, we were able to move on and finished our visit to the park. As we drove home, Seth, like most young boys who had too much excitement, fell asleep, having buffalo dreams.
The next day I was finishing the lunch dishes and Seth came running in naked as a jaybird. He grabbed my hand and pulled me outside.
Down the steps around the corner, then he let go of my hand and ran, stood and faced me. Smiling and pointing at his chest like a young Tarzan he announced, “Me buth-a-row.”
I looked down to where his other hand pointed at the sidewalk to find a deposit, piled neatly in the middle.
“Yes son, you are a buth-a-row.”