1996 - Volume #20, Issue #3, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Remember The White Buffalo?Nearly two years ago an all-white female buffalo calf was born on a Janesville, Wis. farm. Life hasn't been the same ever since for Valerie and David Heider. An average of 50 visitors still come to call every day.
The Heiders aren't complaining. "Obviously, we knew she was different but we were not aware of the Native American legend concerning a white buffalo calf," says Valerie.
From the outset, the calf drew the attention of Native Americans who consider the birth as sacred as the second coming of Christ to Christians. Chance of an all-white buffalo calf are 10 million to 1, experts say, and the couple has been interviewed by national and international media, including a Japanese crew that filmed a documentary on the calf's first birthday.
The Heiders have opened their farm to visitors seven days a week and put up a gift shop to sell photos, cards, T-shirts and jewelry. One corner contains a museum of gifts from some of the more than 70,000 guests from virtually every country in the world who've come to see the calf.
Miracle now weighs about 600 lbs. and has changed from white to blonde, Valerie says. "A lot of people say she'll turn gray; others that she'll turn back to white," she says.
Native Americans believe Miracle - whose birth was predicted more than 600 years ago in a Lakota Sioux leg-end - will usher in a new era of peace and understanding among people of all races.
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