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The Old Buffalo

Like a moaning river, burning with fear, the herd stampedes through the red Naomi valley. The ground shakes in alarm as the hooves of a thousand fires off smashed rocks in all directions, leaving a swirling, rumbling trail of pink dust behind them.

The old buffalo tries to keep the pace, as the fire still rages in the distance. His golden brown fur sizzles painfully.  His big heart pumps wildly in his chest. Fear drives him on. Follow the herd his instincts tell him, just follow the herd. So, he gives his tired muscles the command to keep moving, and the herd of a thousand drags him along.

The herd moves east. Yet the roaring fire keeps steadily on their heels. Hungry for destruction the greedy flames don't want rest. As they gnaw away ravenously at the wounded earth they gain momentum. The old buffalos' heart stumbles. Losing his rhythm, his exhausted body weakenes with fear, and he falls back in the run for life. The herd overtakes him; they do not drag him along anymore. A deep belly moan escapes his strong jaws. He so longs to stay and run with them. He feels the windspeed of a thousand overtaking him, and in the middle of pounding hooves and pounding hearts and blood and fear and scorched fur, the old buffalo's heart stops in its tracks.

His majestic black silhouette trembles against the flaming red sky. His stance still strong and defiant, he turns his head in slow motion greeting the crackling flames with resignation. His heart quivers, aching for evolution, the old beasts' spirit finally soars.
Friday, 25th May 2007
© MP. Olinger


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