Buford The Little Bighorn
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Written by: Bill Peet
Illustrated by: Bill Peet
Buford The Little Big Horn is about a scrawny little mountain sheep. His body was quite small, but his horns were huge. They had already gone well beyond his body and they were not even done yet. Those horns were getting so big that they were beginning to make him top heavy and that was not at all good news for a mountain climbing sheep.
Like all other mountain sheep, Buford spent his days climbing about the mountain tops. This was not supposed to be a problem when you are a mountain climbing sheep. The mountain sheep are, by the way, so very very nimble. All except for the top heavy Buford that is. He would come teetering behind all the other more sturdy rams.
One day, as he was climbing along, Buford noticed something terrible. Things were beginning to get even worse. Those darn horns were now beginning to head back his way. Buford was sure that one of these days those darn horns would trip him and cause him to fall right off the side of that mountain. And sure enough, one day while climbing, those horns caused him to stumble off a ledge and well on his way to down the mountain. But, lucky for him those same horns that had caused him to fall, hooked on a spruce tree and saved him from what would have been sheer disaster.
When the rest of the sheep saw what had happened to poor Buford, they decided that it was time for them to keep a closer eye over him and to be more helpful. Buford thought it was a terrible thing to be such a burden to his friends.
Finally, one day, when he thought that he was as much of a burden on his friends as he could be, Buford told them that they needed to go on ahead and leave him behind. Sadly, the other sheep did as he had asked and Buford sat and watched until the last of the sheep was out of sight. Then he turned all of his attention to those crazy old horns.
All Buford could think of was that he needed to get rid of those darn horns. But, How?
Buford tried to charge into things ramming his horns as he went. Surely that would get rid of those horns. After a while, he realized that those dumb things were going no where and that they were going to be with him for the rest of his life. Now, he would have to come up with a new plan.
For a while, a long while, Buford just sat on the edge of the bluff and looked at the valley below. It was nice and flat. He would suffer no more than a bump on his nose if he were to go there. But, to get there he would have to take a long and dangerous trip down the mountain side. Buford decided that was just what he was going to do and so down the mountain he started.
On his way down the mountain, Buford was being followed by a group of buzzards. As determined as they were to make a free lunch out of him, Buford was determined that they would not! Finally, he was at the bottom of that mountain and for the first time in his life on flat ground. Buford was so excited that he just began to trot and trot and trot. But, before long, he heard a voice Stop! Stop I say! Do YOU hear me? All of a sudden and out of now where came this huge red bull followed by a herd of screaming cattle. After all these animals did not want some beast from the forest invading their space. THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS!
The bull came to a sudden stop. He assured the others that there was nothing to worry about. I was only a little old mountain sheep who had gone mostly to horns. With a few snorts of disgust, the cattle soon ambled their way back into the meadow. They told Buford that they would not bother him. But, as for the men. they could not say. Buford had heard about men, but at the moment he was just to tired to think about them.
Buford enjoyed his time on the flat land roaming among the cattle. There when the grass turned brown and the food was not readily available--the men just brought it. This was great and much too easy. This could not last for ever. Surely sooner or later something would happen. Sure enough, IT DID!
It was a cold November day. The pasture was a beautiful white as it had just been covered with a fresh show. Buford was roaming with the cattle and enjoying the food that the men had brought. When all of a sudden there was a noise up above. It was a plane and in it were two men and they were looking right at Buford. OH NO! They were hunters and IT WAS BIGHORN SEASON! It was time for Buford to head back to the mountains, but getting there would be no easy task.
At one point, while trying to get back up the mountain. Buford id sip and come tumbling down right at the hunters. Now fun had just begun. Pick up this book and find out how Bufords horns finally came in handy and saved the day.
At first Megan was very disapointed in this book. Being the sister to a special needs brother, she cried because the other animals were unkind to Buford and the fact that he was different. That gave us a chance to talk about that and how we should always treat other children with respect.
Megan then found herself interested in how Buford would survive and make a place for himself. She was so happy when the cattle let him stay with them, but was once again saddened by the arrival of the hunters. All was well by the end of the book when Buford finally discovered that it was okay to be different.
Buford The Little Bighorn was a wonderful story to read with my children. Even though it was one that had to be read and not one they could read on thier own, it was a story I would not have wanted them to miss. Watching Buford's struggles was amazingly similar to watching the struggles of my own children.
The illustrations by Bill Peet were absolutely amazing. We watched and we cried with Buford as his horn grew and he struggled to fit in. We actually felt ourselves looking up at those rocky mountains and wondering for him, HOW? And at the end of the book, well you will just have to go there and see what a great job he did with that.
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