This morning was cold. Beautiful, yes, but definitely colder than the deliciously warm days we've enjoyed all month. The pond wore a thin skin of ice even where the sun could reach. The grass was crunchy with frost. And all the animals were heaving out plumes of steamy breath as they patrolled the farm. One of my jobs this morning was to make sure everyone could find fresh water to drink throughout the day.
I did that and some other things and was quietly distributing piles of hay for the four-leggeds and tearing off bits of stale bread for the birds when I heard it. A loud, crushing sound and then a splash behind me. Chunk-hi had hammered his great, square chin and then his massive horns against the ice in his trough, releasing the loose water beneath it.
"That's okay, Mom. I got this." His long beard was dripping with water, his horns shiny and steaming. Long black eyelashes blinking calmly at me.
He can't really talk, you guys. He's a buffalo. But we understand each other just fine.