Let me introduce you to Bufy, the water buffalo – our water buffalo at Bali Silent Retreat. The new addition to our family. She’s a teenager and still a virgin. She’s smiling. . . very friendly with people and is very eager for visitors, but she has horns, so it can be a bit risky getting friendly with her.
When she first arrived and we discussed what type of house was needed for her, I kept wanting to get her out onto the open land to graze. I wondered what type of havoc might be wrought if she wandered about the grounds and asked, Gung, her trainer where’d she go, if let off the lead – perhaps to the gardens to eat the vegetables? “Oh, no, Ibu”, he said. “She’d go immediately to the river and never come back. Bufy loves swimming!” During the planning perhaps the ‘water’ part of water buffalo was overlooked – ha!
She danced her debut at pulling the plow, holding her head high. I’m told she has the strength of 4 cows or a small elephant . We’re not so sure this was our best move getting such a big animal. But plowing the fields with the rice-field-rototiller is just too noisy. And engaging a buffalo is almost an historical practice. We’d like to maintain a method or two of the old ways. It’s beautifully nostalgic for our Balinese crew to watch her turn the fields.
Not only is her manure extremely valuable for vegetables, we might be able to make mozzarella cheese as a bonus someday – yippeeeee!