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As I watched the cows come up from the back pasture with white birds flying overhead, I told my husband, “Look at all the egrets!”

“Those aren’t egrets,” he corrected me, “they’re cowbirds.”

“Egrets and cowbirds are the same,” I told him.

I went inside to retrieve a book to prove it. Grant it, it wasn’t one of those bird books that identify all the species. This is what I pulled from the shelf. It was the story of Little Egret and Toro. Since my aunt shared the story with me, I have always associated egrets with any bovine.

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The charming story is by Robert Vavra and the drawings by John Fulton Short. I quote below from the book jacket.

This is the story of a fighting bull in Southern Spain. Unlike Ferdinand, Toro loved to fight; and while feeding in his pasture he used to dream of the day when his turn would come and he would be taken away to the bull fights. In vain did his friend the white cattle egret tell him that he would never return. At last the longed for day arrived, and all too soon Toro realized his friend was right — no bull returns from the matador’s sword. But the little egret suddenly had an idea: an idea which would save Toro’s life.

The story is of friendship and loyalty. I won’t spoil it by telling you the whole story. You can find the book online or a local library. Although it’s a children’s book, I think it reads like a modern fable to be enjoyed by young and old alike. The authors were very familiar with the bullfight. I saw John Fulton Short at the corrida advertised below.

The authors were very familiar with the bullfight.  I saw John Fulton Short at the corrida advertised here.  John Fulton was an American who reached the rank of matador at Plaza Monumental, Madrid in the 60's.  He followed Sidney Franklin who Hemingway wrote about in Death in the Afternoon.

The authors were very familiar with the bullfight. I saw John Fulton Short at the corrida advertised here. John Fulton was an American who reached the rank of matador at Plaza Monumental, Madrid in the 60’s. He followed Sidney Franklin who Hemingway wrote about in Death in the Afternoon.


As I thought about Toro regretting his decision to experience a real live bullfight, I thought gratefully that we have no regrets moving to the country. But like Toro who had Little Egret, we also, live among cows and faithful egrets.

You can read about the difference between an egret and a Texas cowbird here.

Just today as I write this, I returned from the library spending some time on the computer.

“Do you need more time?” the librarian asked me.

“Yes, please, just ten more minutes should do it,” I replied. She could see I was involved in a project and extended the time.

As I drove back home from the library I met our neighbor at the mailbox. “Here’s a package for Rick,” she told me. She was not only picking up the mail, but was on her way to deliver it since it had been delivered to them yesterday while we were out and about.

On Friday, Rick’s ranch partner offered him the use of his brush hog and tractor to clear out all the goat weed.

This morning while talking to SIL on the phone I couldn’t help but go outside and check out what all the engine noise was about. “It’s a road rally,” Rick explained. Lime green, bright yellow, red and black, cobalt blue, orange, white and black race cars were buzzing along the road in front of us. What a show! That would have never happened on our city house street.

Good neighbors, interesting and delightful creatures, surprising shows, a down-sized more manageable house agree with us. No regrets.

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