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  • We live way out in the country on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. We are about 20 miles from the nearest little town (Kyle). Cattle country! Our nearest neighbor is over 2 miles away. We see all kinds of wildlife everyday. Deer come into our yard on almost a daily basis to drink water from our bird baths. Red Tail hawks glide and hover over the big sandhill next to our house. This spring we had the largest flock of Sandhill Cranes land in our meadow for a day..... they were so loud and there was so many that the meadow was black with them... thousands. It's a really great place to be.
    On occasion we have a buffalo wander on to our place. We really feel blessed to see these wonderful animals right out our door. Over the years we've had maybe 8 buffalo and even once in the 70's a whole herd! They are a sacred animal to the Lakota and are our relatives. Our Creation story tells us that we came out of the Black Hills as Buffalo People, Pte Oyate. My art that I make is all made from the horn caps and they are very special too us.
    Ranchers hate buffalo around here because of some story about brucellosis.
    Anyway, one day a neighbor who lives about 15 miles away called and wondered if we had seen his buffalo bull he was worried someone might shoot it and wanted to get ASAP. We hadn't seen him but, I had been working in the studio for a few days. I decided to go look and just over the hill from us I saw him walking up and down the fence line. The owner said he would be right over to get him and all I could think was "yeah right... I gotta see this!"
    He had a tranquilizer gun but, had never used it on a buffalo before only cattle. So, he got as close to the buffalo as he could and shot. Hit him right where he was suppose to and then we just sat back and waited. The big bull just went on about his business..... nothing happened! So, the guy loaded up again and shot again and again...... every time the buffalo would lay down and act like he was under but when we would get up to him he would jump up and snort at us and run like nothing was wrong. The last time he laid down the owner snuck up on him and put a rope around his front feet. I was sitting there on my ATV watching (it wasn't MY buffalo!) and all of a sudden he hollered at me and handed me the rope! I was too tie on to him and then keep him off balance by keeping the rope tight! WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS TIE THEMSELVES TO A BUFFALO BULL!! He stood up a couple more times and would look right at me. He didn't look fazed by the tranquilizer! I would back up and have to keep my hand on the throttle, which I ended up breaking because I had such a twist going on that thing. By that time the guy had backed up with his trailer and built a little pen around the bull. The whole thing looked ridiculously small compared the the size of this bull. I finally drove up and released the tension on the rope and amazingly the bull stood up and walked right into the trailer!
    After I thought about I started shaking..... all I could think about was "what a way to go"!
    If you look close at this photo you can see the rope coming from the buffalo....... and I am on this end of it.
    Why do I always seem to get caught up in other peoples CRAZY IDEAS! It's gonna be the death of me I know it is!
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