"Look, at the huge cow," said the boy.
"That's a buffalo," said his mother, "and you're right, he is huge."
The buffalo sighed in dismay and looked down at his large, shaggy body. He was only a year old but already weighed over a thousand pounds. Bobby knew it was only a matter of time before he was too big to stay at the petting zoo.
The days at the zoo were long and sometimes hot but it was the only home Bobby could remember. Mr. Granger, who took care of the zoo animals, was very kind to him. Bobby also liked the other animals and the people who came to visit, especially the children. But every day he heard children and their families say how big he was.
Bobby felt tears coming into his eyes and quickly put his head down. Maybe if he ate only twenty pounds of hay and grain a day and just ten carrots or apples for a snack he wouldn't grow so fast, he thought.
"How's my big fellow today?" asked Mr. Granger. "Are you ready for your dinner?"
Bobby answered with a big, muddy kiss. Mr. Granger fed and watered him and closed the zoo for the night. Bobby stood quietly in his pen and listened to the other animals talk about their day. The goat had been given an ice cream cone. One of the chickens had seen a small garden snake and was telling the others about her adventure. The rabbit had met a very nice girl who had wanted to take him home. None of the other animals had been told they were too big.
The next day the owner of the zoo came to check on all the animals. "This buffalo is getting too big to stay here," said the owner. "We better start looking for a young calf to take his place."
"Bobby is a great favorite with the kids," said Mr. Granger. "Besides, he is very gentle and affectionate."