Did you ever notice that truth sometimes seems so bizarre, it would never pass for credible fiction? Watching and learning about bison calves had that effect on me. Here’s six observations:
1. We drove the roads of Yellowstone a number of days and couldn’t help but notice bison.
One day we came upon a newborn bison – it was the first one we saw. From that moment on there were baby bison all over the countryside – like they all showed up the same day! Can you image the logistics of trying to co-ordinate that?
2. The first thing I noticed was that calves were the wrong colour. How did they end up a different colour then every other bison? It made me wonder if something hadn’t gone quite right or maybe they weren’t quite done yet.
3. Just imagine the shock from the calf’s perspective. It wakes up in the morning comfortably tucked inside mom and by coffee break it’s time to go for a run in a neighbourhood with coyotes and wolves. To think that this new-born could be up and around and keep up with other bison in a few hours is miraculous. Would anyone believe that?
4. There obviously is a bond with mothers in most species. But imagine you are this small calf looking at your mother’s face for the first time. It’s big, huge actually, unbelievably hairy …. and she even has horns? Your first thot might be – that is a face only a baby could love. If someone was trying to scare the life out of this poor little thing, what could you possibly add?
5. I noticed bison calves carefully followed their mothers around and the moms didn’t even need to look back. While it makes perfect sense, it doesn’t necessarily happen in other species. Take humans for example. I see a lot of toddlers taking off in the opposite direction the first chance they get. It doesn’t always end well.
6. And finally these calves were, for lack of a better word, cute. Which is to say they didn’t look anything like their mothers or the random old guys that were lying around in the dirt. The old folks have their own unique attraction but I would be hard pressed to call it cute. How did they end up with cute calves?
I’m thinking this next generation of bison is going to be one fine-looking herd! At least that is believable.