Powerful, rare symbol to American Indians: A white buffalo is born in North Texas

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on June 2, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 4 at 10:24 AM

GREENVILLE, Texas - As legend goes, chances are one in 10 million that a white buffalo will ever enter this world.

So, what are the chances it would happen in North Texas on an Indian-owned ranch that has a symbolic white buffalo sculpture at the entrance gate? Well, it happened. The white buffalo was born two weeks ago during the intense power of a driving thunderstorm.

The white buffalo was born on Arby Little Soldier’s ranch in Hunt County. Little Soldier is part Mandan Indian, part Lakota; he says he is also a great grandson of Sitting Bull.

“I’m proud that he is here in Greenville,” he said.

While all the other buffaloes on Little Soldier’s ranch belong to him, he said the white one belongs to all people and nations. He believes, and custom dictates, that the animal’s existence is a powerful message, but its meaning is not yet known.

The white calf’s unknown prophecy will be interpreted by native elders, who are expected to convene at the ranch later this month. At that time, as is custom, they'll also give the white calf a proper and fitting name.

"I look out there as I’m mowing or fixing a fence and I look at him and he’s just playing like a young child and I say, ‘My four-legged brother, some day you’ll be speaking to us and you’re words are strong,” Little Soldier said.

But for now, he is small and Little Soldier says the older buffalo are quick to circle the white calf when a stranger comes near.

"They’re protecting him,” he said.

It's something they don't do for the calf's half-brother, "Curly," born just two days earlier.

Like the older buffalo, Little Soldier does not take lightly his responsibility to care for the white buffalo until it reaches maturity at age two.

“He was sent here for a reason,” Little Soldier said. "I guess, spiritually, I was ready."

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