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A Stranger in My Garden!
Early Spring Garden
This is a true story that goes back to about four years ago. I think about it every spring when we are planting our garden and I remember the night we found a stranger in our garden.
Every spring, my husband and I plant a vegetable garden behind our house. That year was no different except that it was planted a little later than usual because of the rain we had been having and we were waiting for it to dry out.
We had tilled the garden soil until it was like a fine powder. My husband, Johnny, “Mr. Perfectionist”, had measured the rows and marked them using a plum line and stakes. I had walked down the lines and dropped the seeds by hand into the furrows he had made and gone back are carefully covered them up. Then we gently watered the rows and dared the crows to get into the garden and try to find and eat the seeds! The garden was finally planted and I couldn’t wait to see the little plants peeking up from the soil.
Strange Sounds in the Garden
That night, I was tired and went to bed a little bit before Johnny. I had left him up watching Jay Leno. I had been asleep for about an hour when Johnny came into the bedroom and woke me up saying, “Get up! Get up! You have to come see this!” As I am crawling out of bed he tells me that he heard Jake, our black lab, barking at something and went outside to see what it was. As he went to the edge of the porch he could hear the strangest sound. He couldn’t tell what it was, but there was definitely something in the garden.
Jake was acting like he was scared, which is very unusual, as he will chase anything from skunks to deer, but he wasn’t going after what ever was out there. Johnny couldn’t see anything due to the darkness, so he came back in the house and got a large flashlight. Then he and Jake went back outside and around to the back of the house, Jake wouldn’t leave his side. As he shined the flashlight around all he could see were two huge eyes glowing back at him. He said the eyes were larger than anything he had seen before and were at least five feet high. What ever it was, it was making a deep loud grunting sound. This was no deer! He said his first thought was a big bear, but we don’t have bears in Southern Oklahoma.
I Can't Believe What I See!
One more loud grunting sound and he and Jake were headed back to the house! He said he wasn’t sure who made it back up on the porch first, he or Jake. He hadn’t moved that fast in 20 years! At that point he wasn’t going back outside. He went to the window in our bedroom that faces the back of the house and shined the light out to the garden and what he saw, made him wake me up from a good sleep. So now I’m up and staggering to the window, wondering what has got him so excited. As he shines the light out to the garden, I can’t believe my eyes! There is a buffalo in my garden!
Where the Buffalo Roam?
Well, Oklahoma may be where the buffalo roamed, but that was many years ago and there are not any free roaming buffalo around here, I guess until now! This was no baby buffalo, it was a female that stood at least five feet high at the shoulders. We stood there in amazement at what we saw. What in the world is a buffalo doing in my garden! The reason he could not tell what it was at first is that a buffalo’s coat is so dense and thick that it does not reflect light. The only thing that reflected the light from the flashlight was her eyes.
Full grown male buffalo.
A Dirt Bath, Really?
As we are standing at the window watching her tromp through our garden, she decides that she needs a dirt bath. Oh no! She drops down into the dirt and starts to roll all around. Dirt is flying in the air everywhere! I guess it would have been a funny site except that I am watching all our precisely planted seeds get spread out everywhere. After a little while she decides to get up and walks off into the woods.
We decided that we needed to call the Sheriff’s Department as we were worried that she would get out on the road and someone may not see her and hit her with their car. That would be like hitting a brick wall! A deputy came out and said that he would try to find out where the buffalo came from and have them come get her. We talked about how strange this was and finally decided we had to go back to bed.
Getting Her Back Home
The next morning when we got up, we looked out the window and there she was, back in our garden. I guess she like the soft dirt. We called the Sheriff’s Department back and the deputy told us that there was a man about three miles from us that did keep some buffalo and six of them had managed to get loose. They had rounded up all of them but this one female. The owner drives down to our place and tries to get her into a cattle truck, but she doesn’t want to cooperate. They tried for three days to get her into this truck. Have you ever tried to get a buffalo to do something it doesn’t want to? Good luck with that! They finally had to tranquilize her enough to force her into the truck and then took her back home.
When my garden came up that year I had green beans in the black-eyed peas and mustard plants in with the onions! Oh well, it was worth it just to be able to watch Ms. Buffalo wander around my place in the country for three days. She was really very interesting and I might could get attached if she wasn’t so big!
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