Part 2: The story continues…
- Part 1: BUFFALO TALES – CHILDHOOD STORIES
- Part 2: BUFFALO TALES – THE INCIDENT, THE FRIENDSHIP, A NEW MEMBER
- Part 3: THE SADNESS, LIFE, AND MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
…The Incident – Childhood stories in Vietnam
People discussed the situation and decided to yell out from the distance, to wake up the little girl. However, the little girl was still sleeping on the back of the buffalo. They found out her name and started calling her name out, but the little girl was deep in her sleep.
The buffalo heard the noise and moved a bit faster. People made less noise as they worried the buffalo might run and then a bad situation would happen.
Someone went to find the little girl’s parents. Other people just stood there to make sure if the little girl fell off, they could be there to rescue her from the buffalo’s feet.
The little girl’s parents came shortly. They were worried too as they also thought of the bad situation. They tried to wake their daughter up by calling her name, but they didn’t get luckier than others.
On the other side of the field, the owner of the rice field was very upset about their crop, but they could do nothing in this situation.
The little girl’s parents were not only worried about their daughter but also about the penalty they would have to pay for the damage the buffalo had done. The sky was getting dark, the buffalo seemed happy with her feast. The little girl finally woke up. She was so surprised by seeing many people around the field.
Then, she noticed the buffalo was in the middle of the rice field not on the path. She was frightened as she realised what had happened. She looked at all people and found her parents were there too. She cried and said sorry as she hopped off of the buffalo’s back and pulled it out of the rice field. When the little girl reached the path, her parents did not yell at her this time. They were happy and hugged her because their daughter was safe now.
Everyone else was happy for the little girl and her family too. They left them alone with the owner of the rice field and the village guards.
The Friendship – Childhood Stories in Vietnam
After the incident, the little girl’s parents dealt with the ‘tragedy’ as people in the village called what happened that day.
The little girl’s parents talked to their daughter about how she had to protect the crop for the villagers. And for the buffalo, the village guards had warned her parents. If the same thing happened again, they would have to ban their family buffalo from going to the rice paddies. If this happened, they would have nowhere else to feed the buffalo.
The little girl seemed to understand the situation, she was no longer crying or sleeping on the back of the buffalo since that day. She wanted to look after the buffalo and would want to see the buffalo turn into a big, fat, healthy buffalo. Because the buffalo was now pregnant.
The little girl was more careful when she climbed on its back. She climbed from the head or the tail of the buffalo, not from its stomach.
The buffalo had become a friend to the little girl. She talked to the buffalo about everything. She told the buffalo about what happened in her school, her feelings about her family, her friends, and other things.
The relationship the little girl had with her buffalo wasn’t only in the field. When she got home from school she often went straight to the buffalo’s hut and told the buffalo the stories of her day or her marks in school. Sometimes when she was naughty and her parents punished her, she would go to the buffalo’s hut to cry or sit on the buffalo’s back until her parents found her.
While the little girl was in the rice field with the buffalo, if she was lucky, she could meet a few friends who also had to look after their family’s buffalo.
They loved to play games together. The little girl and her friends could do a lot of things on the back of their buffalo. They could have a competition to see who could stand on one foot for the longest time or who could skip rope the most without having a rest on their buffalo’s back.
It was fun when the little girl could catch up with her friends. But it only happened sometimes because the rule in the village was, that while the rice was in the field, each buffalo had their own territory. This way, the owner of the buffalo had the responsibility for the rice field in that area. So, the little girl spent most of the time on her own with her buffalo.
A New Member – Childhood Stories in Vietnam
The time went by, and it was time for the calf to meet its mother. It was a dark and very cold night in the winter. That night the little girl’s mother did not go to bed at the same time as her and her brothers. Her aunty and her grandma were in their house that night.
Her mother asked the little girl and her brothers to go to bed early. There was a lot of noise that woke her in the middle of the night. She saw her father was hurried with a blanket holding on his hands. She asked her father what was going on; then, her father told her to put a jacket on and follow him.
They went to the buffalo’s hut, it was dark and cold outside, three people were inside – the little girl’s auntie, her grandma, and the vet of the village.
The little girl’s mother was boiling some water in the temporary kitchen next to the buffalo’s hut while her grandma was holding the buffalo’s lead-rope trying to calm the buffalo down. Her aunty was helping the vet at the back of the buffalo. The little girl’s father went inside and lit up a small fire in the middle of the hut.
The little girl knew what was happening as she heard her parents talk about the buffalo’s delivery day. She looked at the buffalo and its tired face. The little girl asked her mother if she could do anything to help. Her mother told her to stay where she was so other people could help the buffalo.
The wind howled through the hut, it blew stronger and stronger, then the rain came. The rain made the night even colder. Inside, the buffalo made a lot of noise, as this was its first child. The buffalo seemed to be frightened.
The vet asked the little girl’s mother if the water was ready. When he saw the head of the calf was coming, he tried to help it out, a few seconds later the whole calf was out. The buffalo made a big noise and lay down. It was a male calf, the vet said.
The warm water was ready. The vet and her auntie cleaned the little calf before they took it to the buffalo. Grandma was stroking gently on the buffalo’s head. She asked the little girl to come closer to the buffalo. Tears were in the little girl’s eyes. She was only six years old, and this was the first time she saw a new life was born. She was frightened but also happy. The little girl sat down and whispered something into the buffalo’s ears, then, she stroked gently on its head.
The buffalo was clumsy when the calf started drinking her milk. A few minutes later the buffalo was calm and started to lick her child gently. The little girl’s mother made some cornflour soup, she put it on a tray for the buffalo. The hot soup would help the buffalo feel better after the delivery.
The little girl’s father put more hay in the corner for the buffalo and its baby. He also put more wood in the fire to keep the hut warm. The little girl’s father said he would stay in the hut tonight because he wanted to make sure the little buffalo was warm and safe. At that moment, the little calf was safe next to its mother. Outside the sky was dark and cold, more rain and wind were coming. The winter was colder than usual. A new life was born in the unusually cold winter.