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24129915_10154330375522614_4886734873588727424_nThe detour from our normal carpool route home was not much trouble at all.  It gave us a respite from the stressful torrential traffic escaping downtown Houston and flowing like an endless flood to our home in Katy.  My momentary duty was simply to serve my wonderful bride of 40+ years.

A second grade teacher is always on the look out for “stuff” to enhance the learning experience of these little tykes.  Colleagues are constantly sharing discoveries that bring vivaciousness into the classroom. Then it’s off to discover where to acquire the props, visuals, and inter-actives for my lifelong educator soul-mate.

We found the store.  It was still open.  The Texas cool breeze was kicking up.  I zipped up. Then, I opened the car door for my wife.  He arm slipped around mine. We huddled against the cooler temperatures and trotted into the store.

She as on casual exploration.  Like many teachers, she was into browsing not only for her objective but also ready to pounce on any other curiosity along the way.  I was content.  That night I was just the chauffeur.

Wandering the aisles was just a time-filler.  When I fancied a longer look at something, I did. Often I would just stroll the aisles.  The SALE sign, however, drew me close.  I didn’t make it that far.

A smile arrested my attention. Automatically, I stopped and turned my head.  It wasn’t a mistake.  I smiled back.

With gentle hands, I lifted that creature up close to my face. It was the most adorable puppy in the world.  Carefully, I turned him around and around.  Soft, cuddly, and pleasurable.

Of course, the price tag was missing.  I carried my new friend to a salesperson. How much? Let’s check.  He was no help. I went back to the display counter and found his twin.  The price is the price. Sold!

At the register, the fast-moving clerk paused to hold the puppy and express her feelings, “Awww…” Snapping back into reality, she smiled, complemented our choice, and went back to ringing up our total.

The walk back to the car was my chance. “Here, this little guy is for you.”  I passed the cutest puppy in the world to my bride.  Her look was delight with wonder. “Just-because” I grinned, “Just because.”

That’s what love its.


FullSizeRender-7Our ATV was bouncing like it should.  Gary was racing through the fields because he knew every pothole and gully and tree row.  Ahead, he spied his tour highlight on the front 40.

The sound of rich green well-watered Texas grass brushed against the chassis of the ATV like waves under a sailboat.  “There!” Gary sounded the discovery.  “Under the trees,” he added to the alert.

He deftly guided the ATV to a stop as we saw animals scurrying in the shadows of a deep draw, crowded by trees.  Once movement stopped, we started again, this time slowly into a gully, negotiating the descent with care.  Up the embankment on the opposite side we cautiously crept over the top and came to another stop in the rich pasture.

Ahead, gracefully moving as a herd aware of the presence of humans but certain that the distance was a safe margin, a herd of elegant Blackbucks meandered out of a row of trees.  One dominant buck was directing  its herd of doe.  It was the closest I had ever been to this exotic wildlife animal outside of a zoo enclosure.

Karl and Beth’s Texas ranch served as home to several gorgeous species of wildlife.  It was a privilege to feast my eyes on this majestic animal that God created.  They are fast, graceful, intelligent, agile and colorful.

In this herd the buck showed off its long, thick and perfectly formed spiral horns.  His coat covers his top half in dark brown, almost black.  God contrasted that with a white underbelly and chest.

Its face sets him apart with both eyes encircled with white patches.  When it stares at you its nose is also ringed with white.  Out in the open the colors seem aesthetically balanced.

Yet, take that same animal and let it melt into the woods and it disappears. God created these magnificent animals with both beauty and practicality.  The Blackbuck is no exception.

While the male stands out as bigger, decked with powerful horns and marked with distinctive colors, the doe are different.  All of them are light brown, slender and ready for flight.  They are different but the same as their dominant leader.

Smoothly, they glide through the pasture like they are gently carried along by the Texas breeze.  We quietly watch and marvel.  Then, they run and disappear as if by a wave of a massive magic wand.  God created a masterpiece and He let us watch them.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography