Meredith Fraser, reporter
I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Lily, star of the heartwarming picture book LILY AND BUTTONS. Lily is a spunky bison with a wry sense of humor. She politely answered a few quick questions I threw her way.
Q: Do you own a house? Move around? Crash on couches?
A: My life is rather nomadic. I have never owned a house but did grow up in a cozy petting barn. There were no couches but lots of soft, snuggly hay.
As for now, I am constantly on the move. My first pasture, although full of family, was lonely. I left to search for Buttons. I won’t tell what happens, as you can read for yourself. However, I can say I now reside with the longhorn cattle. We roam 3,700 acres in true nomadic style.
Q: What’s your biggest secret? What’s the biggest secret you’ve kept for others?
A: My biggest secret is how I came to live in the petting barn. One spring day, my herd was grazing the fresh green shoots of bluestem grass. I spotted a frog. Wanting a friend, I followed the frog across the huge pasture. When I asked him to play, he croaked an emphatic “NO” and splashed into a pond. Rejected, I turned to go back, only to find my herd had moved without me. Thankfully, Rancher Sue found me before nightfall.
The biggest secret I have kept is one for Buttons. Out in the yard one day, Buttons and I were playing chase. Buttons decided to go ninja on the hen’s nesting box and broke it into a million pieces. The hen’s ran around clucking at the top of their lungs. Feathers were flying everywhere. Even the goats started bleating and running amuck. The whole yard was chaos. Buttons made me double dog, pinky swear not to tell anyone what really happened. I never did.
Q: What was your earliest memory? Good/Bad? What would you change?
A: I was born in a secluded pasture with all the other babies in our herd. I remember being days old and always staying right by my mom. My mom was all the security I needed.
After a few weeks, the moms decided it was time to rejoin the rest of the herd. What a celebration it was. An annual spring tradition that all the ranch enjoyed. Visitors would come from all over just to see the new baby bison.
Being born in spring also meant being born during spring storm season. My worst memory was when a terrible thunderstorm hit. I huddled tight with my mom until it passed. I had been told the story of a brahma bull getting struck by lightning. The ranch crew found his body later, fried to a crisp.
There is really nothing I would change in my life. Some may think following that frog would be something to change. I see that as the best mistake I ever made. It led me to Buttons.
Q: Who’s your best friend? How did you meet? Memory that makes you laugh?
A: My best friend is Buttons, the longhorn. We met in the petting barn as two lonely orphans. Our shenanigans caused trouble from time to time but boy we had fun. Once, I got my horns stuck in the stall slats. Buttons demonstrated how to get loose by shaking his head back and forth. When I got loose, I fell backwards and landed in the mini horse’s water bucket. Splat, water was everywhere. Buttons and I laughed and laughed while Mr. Ed, the mini horse, just glared with anger.
Q: What is your superpower? What do you wish your superpower was?
A: The power I wish for isn’t a superpower by name. I wish for the power of undaunting courage. Courage to stand up for others, courage to help when others won’t, courage to know what is right and wrong and to choose right.
Buttons displayed that kind of courage when he faced the head bull of his herd. Buttons did what was right and taught others a valuable lesson. That kind of power is super to me.
Q: Thank you for taking time to chat with us. We look forward to reading your adventures with Buttons in LILY AND BUTTONS.
A: My pleasure.