Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Season of the Buffalo

It is buffalo season.
I know this may come as a surprise to you. Certainly it did to our granddaughter.
Maybe I should explain . . .
We were driving to Banff, Alberta. It is time for our annual week at the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort. The place that has been our summer home for nearly 30 years.
This year, it is our eldest granddaughter’s turn to spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa, a privilege that is hotly contested among several of the grandchildren. Okay . . . well . . . among two of them.
The drive was perfect. Slightly cloudy but not raining or stormy. So the sun wasn’t a problem, but neither were the road surfaces.
Now, I should explain that our route takes us invariably through farm country. Some of the richest in Alberta. Long stretches of rolling hills heavy with nearly-ripe grains. Swaths of luxurious green, newly-mown hay, drying in the late summer sun until it’s ready for baling.
Fields of cocoons.
Cocoons?
And finally, we’re to the point of our story . . .
In many of these fields, there are dozens—even hundreds—of buffalo cocoons. Great cylindrical shapes of uniform size, some covered in plastic or mesh, and all simply sitting there in the fields, waiting to hatch.
Yeah, my granddaughter didn’t believe her grandfather, either.
And he described the day of hatching to her so well. When the long-dormant cocoons burst apart and fully-grown buffalo appear.
“It is quite a sight.  The great, shaggy beasts, hungry from their developmental slumber move off in a herd, grazing, Running in the sun. Happy to be alive . . .”
I’m quoting her grandfather, of course.
Our 14-year-old granddaughter stared at him, skeptically. Obviously she wasn’t about to swallow her grandfather’s ‘this-is-how-things-happen’ story whole like the rest of her siblings and cousins.
Skepticism turned vocal. “Grampa, that’s not right. That isn’t how buffalo are made!”
Her grandfather looked at her in the rear-view mirror. “It totally is! The mother buffalo weaves her cocoons out of grasses, then tenderly inserts a seed into each one. You should have paid attention in Biology class.”
She gave him a disgusted look. “I did.”
Oops. They’re on to us . . .
Newly-hatched. Isn't he magnificent?!

16 comments:

  1. Now if only a buffalo had stuck its head around the end of one of those bales....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh! That would have been SO perfect! See? Proof!

      Delete
  2. Lovely story. I'm looking forward to conversations such as that with my granddaughter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Always gotta start a vacation with a fun travel story. Looks like your granddaughter's got your number!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Grand kids are pretty smart these days...I know mine are! Even the 6 year old...

    ReplyDelete
  5. If only all hatchlings could look so impressive...

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is an awesome piece of misinformation :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a lovely story! I hope to have stories like that to share with any grandchildren I may have in the future x

    ReplyDelete

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