When my daughter, Gina, was just a toddler and learning to talk, she had this thing about wanting to pet everything; chickens, horses, cows, even a coyote that ran across the road. “I wanna pet it,” she would say with a plaintive pleading voice. Her little tongue couldn’t say the “w” so it came out as “I ’anna pet it.” One night we were admiring the rising of a huge full moon. Gina said, “I ’nna pet it.” It’s been a family joke ever since.
When we visited Yellowstone recently and saw tourists too close to a buffalo lying by the pathway at Old Faithful, the words went through my mind, “I ’nna pet it.” A recent video online shows some Chinese tourists literally petting a buffalo next to their car. Luckily this seemingly tame animal was in a good mood or their vacation would have had a tragic ending.