Ferocious in aspect as is the long hairy-skinned buffalo—or properly the bison—of America, and savage when attacked, yet it is capable of devoted affection towards its own kind.

A party of hunters were riding on the prairies, when two fine buffalo-bulls were seen proceeding along the opposite side of a stream. One of the hunters took aim at the nearest buffalo, which was crossing with his haunches towards him. The ball broke the animal’s right hip, and he plunged away on three legs, the other hanging useless. The hunter, leaping on his horse, put spurs to its flanks, and in three minutes he and his companions were close on the bull. To his astonishment, and the still greater surprise of two older hunters, the unhurt bull stuck to his comrade’s side without flinching. He fired another shot, which took effect in the lungs of the first buffalo. The second sheered off for a moment, but instantly returned to his friend. The wounded buffalo became distressed, and slackened his pace. The unwounded one not only retarded his, but coming to the rear of his friend, stood with his head down, offering battle.

Here indeed was devotion! The sight was, to all three of the hunters, a sublime one. They could no more have accepted the challenge of this brave creature, than they could have smitten Damon at the side of Pythias. The wounded buffalo ran on to the border of the next marsh, and, in attempting to cross, fell headlong down the steep bank. Not till that moment, when courage was useless, did his faithful companion seek his own safety in flight. The hunters took off their hats, and gave three parting cheers, as he vanished on the other side of the wood.