A Single Buffalo

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 28, 2017

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Submitted: November 28, 2017

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‘A Single Buffalo’

 

Throughout the soiled green grass marshes, trods a curious bulky animal. With its backwards curving crescent horns and wide curious eyes it irrigated out the wet hill-side fields, sloping down to a muddy stream. Using its sturdy nose to look out for obstacles, it heavily panted out through the muddy rice water, being half submerged, only supporting itself with its 4 rigid hoofed feet, marginally slipping down by the second. Clashing against the nearly completely cultivated fresh haulms, slightly teared up by late night rains, its clumsy hairy tail full of dry and muddy bits of dirt whipped through its passage way. The grimy clods of rice plants emitting lightly scented aromas in the morning sunrays reflected back on the dirty water rippling as he went. Moving out a few meters through the nearly fully flooding rice fields, the tired and grumpy buffalo, still with its angry snout, approached my lingering mother.

 

Having told me to watch and simply learn on the edges of the fields, I sat on the dry plantation’s borderlines, not getting myself wet at all, as she got further and further away from me, completing her tenacious work.

 

With sweat dripping down her colourful headwrap keeping her hair out of her eyes, her cheeks were glistening with aspiration encouraging the dear old buffalo to keep walking. This was as difficult as it was for the buffalo as for her, having to do this repetitive yet somewhat rewarding job everyday, now alone, for only at the end of a yearlong harvest, a kind of pride.

 

Her long dangly earrings jingled together with a soothing flow of wind. With a woven basket on her back threaded with damp pine and fine wooden splints, she hunched over herself waiting for time to pass. Her calfs tensing with every step she took, the embroidered geometric trims on the edges of her long black skirt drifted from side to side, ruffling against her long tied up black hair.

 

Now 5, 6, 7, ledges away from me, my mother steadily getting smaller and smaller with every inch of further distance. At one point she’d be too distant to even see the bottoms of her dress drip with water or the creasing dimples in her smile, embracing her beauty.

 

It was getting later along the day with a few hours passing by, the sun arched over the neighbouring rice farms till midday. My mother now even further away, her clothes having darkened with sweat and humidity, was getting deeper and deeper down the farming valley.

 

I’d heard a quick sound from behind me getting my attention to quickly turn around to see a small bird fly away following another bigger one, seemingly its parent, single parent.

 

I settled back in my seat, and searched for my mom upon the ending row of rice fields. I looked around, but she was nowhere to be seen, the buffalo still walking, now without my mother. I stood up with a jump, but still, I couldn’t see her. Hastily, I rushed through the little borders of mud alongside the rice fields till the buffalo, who was still calm, gently wandering around.

 

Behind him was my mother, lying still against a heap of dry rice. I anxiously shook her around shouting. Her eyelids fluttering open till they could focus, her breath calming down to a steady but yet fast pace. She was too heavy for me to pull out and her hair had therefore completely fallen in the mud with her outfit also dripping around the soggy water cooling her down filthily. Slowly, so so slowly, stressing me with every extra second she took, she finally woke up with a quick startle.

 

She’d fainted. With the bright sun burning her throat she’d kept working, till she couldn’t, alone.

 
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A Short Story by Elodie Jacqmin


© Copyright 2018 Elodie Jacqmin. All rights reserved.

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