By 1878 the millions of buffalo that once blackened the prairies of West Texas were a thing of the past. For two years since settling their ranch in the Palo Duro Canyon, Colonel Charles Goodnight and his wife, Mary Ann, had heard the reports of the Sharps rifles day and night. The hide hunters were mercilessly slaughtering every bison they could find. It was Mary Ann who revolted and persuaded her husband to protect the small number of bison that had sought refuge in a remote corner of the Palo Duro. Goodnight's cowboys roped two calves and brought them to Mary Ann to care for. These two calves and others that were captured later became the nucleus of the herd that saved the Southern bison from complete extinction. Stock from the Goodnight bison herd was vital in bringing both the Northern and Southern herds Back From The Brink of extinction. Progeny from the Goodnight herd were distributed across the United States to help rebuild other herds including that in Yellowstone National Park.To create 'Back From The Brink', Veryl Goodnight sent out several letters to buffalo ranches asking for the opportunity to raise an orphan calf should one become available. Medicine Lodge Buffalo Ranch near Dubois, Idaho called her in early June. The post lady had found a newborn calf all alone on her route. Little 'Charlie' had become separated from his mother when the herd had been moved the day before and had survived his first night of life alone. Veryl and her husband, Roger Brooks, flew to Idaho immediately and brought Charlie home to Santa Fe in their plane. They bottle-raised Charlie with the intent of returning him to Idaho as a yearling. However, Charlie had other plans. Charlie also modeled for 'Survivor' and 'Tomorrow's Leader'.
Published in Western Art Collector, July 2011, page 148.