The Boy and his Buffalo
Just outside the city of Great Falls, the tall grass stood still against the big Montana sky. Billy Brennan the, famous cowboy, prepared to rope the wild buffalo. Billy wiped the sweat from his brow and peered around the bush. The sun gleamed off the beast’s horns as it peacefully grazed, unaware of the fate that awaited him. Billy adjusted the rope in his hands and squinted against the sun. He had been trying to find this one for a long time; many have. But he, Billy Brennan, would be the first to finally capture Buffy The Buffalo.
The time had come. Billy crept forward, as stealthily as a panther on the hunt, and started his rope swinging. He positioned himself, concentrating on the target, and pulled back, ready to make the best catch of his life. The rope flew from his hands
Just then a screen door banged open. “Billy,” his mother called from the front porch, “Come inside, it’s time for dinner.”
Billy looked up, causing the rope to fall harmlessly to one side of Buffy on the freshly mowed grass. “Coming Mommy,” Billy answered, picking up his rope and stuffed toy, “We’ll finish this tomorrow,” Billy promised Buffy, putting his rope and cowboy hat in the toy box and setting his best friend down at the table with him.
Billy and Buffy were the best of friends. They did everything together: ate, played, went to school. Buffy even had a little bed next to Billy’s where he slept every night. Sometimes the other kids at school would make fun of Billy, calling him a baby. Billy just held his head high and ignored them, whispering to Buffy, “Don’t be mad at them, they’re just saying that ’cause they don’t know how cool you are.” Billy’s mother always smiled when she saw her boy and his buffalo playing Indians and Cowboys in the back yard. But his father worried when Billy did not grow out of it at an early age.
Once, Billy’s mother caught a frown on her husband’s face when he saw his son carefully unpack Buffy from his school bag and set the buffalo next to him on the couch to watch TV.
The mother took his hand and said, “Oh let him be Dear, he’s only a child, let him have his fun.”
Years passed, and the boy and his buffalo were still the best of friends. One day, as his mother was taking the laundry down to the wash, she heard a faint sniffling sound coming from behind Billy’s bedroom door.
“Billy?” his mother knocked on the door. When he didn’t answer, she walked in and found him sobbing on the bed, his face tear-stained and his pillow wet.
“Oh, honey what’s the matter?” she asked, sitting down next to him and rubbing his back comfortingly.
“It’s…it’s…Buffy. I-I lost him!” he sobbed.
Billy’s mother cradled her son in her arms, “Well where was the last place you saw him?”
Billy sniffed, “On the school filed trip to the falls. I took him out so he could see the view, and one of the mean kids pushed me and m-made me drop Buffy over the side!”
Billy burst into tears again and collapsed against his mother’s chest.
“Oh honey, I’m so sorry,” she said, smoothing his hair.
Billy stayed in his mother’s arms for a long time. When finally he quieted, his mother tilted his chin up with one slender finger.
“Sweetheart, I know you miss him,” she said, looking down at him, “And there will always be a special place in your heart
for him. But it’s not the end of the world, you’ll be OK.” Billy looked into his mother’s eyes, “But I don”t want to be OK, I want Buffy.” “I know honey, I’m not saying you have to forget about him, just, don’t live in the past. You’ll move on and find other things, but you’ll always remember your childhood friend.”
As Billy grew up, he always remembered his mother’s words. And though he no longer had Buffy, Billy’s love for buffaloes never faded. It was his passion, and he was forever reading, watching, and learning about buffaloes. His deepest wish was to help protect
the buffaloes, and his wish came true when he graduated from veterinary school and become a buffalo conservationist. His first day on the job, Billy gazed out at the fields of grazing buffalo, remembering the words his mother had said to him all those years
ago. And a smile spread across his face.