Turtledove
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"The Green Buffalo"  
UltimateDinosaur.jpg
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance The Ultimate Dinosaur
Publisher Bantam/Spectra
Editor Byron Preiss & Robert Silverberg
Collected Counting Up, Counting Down
Genre(s) Science fiction
Publication date 1992

"The Green Buffalo" is a short story by Harry Turtledove. It was first published in The Ultimate Dinosaur, edited by Byron Preiss & Robert Silverberg, Bantam Spectra, 1992, and reprinted in Counting Up, Counting Down, Del Rey, 2002.

Philip Hood's frontispiece for the story in The Ultimate Dinosaur. The animal in the upper left does not match anything described in the story. It appears to be a predator from the Permian and/or Triassic Periods.

The story is narrated by Joe, the owner of a store in Lusk, Wyoming, in August 1890. He is hired by paleontologist John Hatcher as part of a hunting party for his expedition. While on the trail, the hunters wander through a ripple in time, and are briefly transported into Wyoming's prehistory. After backtracking, they return to 1890, and track a herd of buffalo. They discover a Triceratops among the herd. Joe and his fellow hunters don't realize what the creature is, and assume that it is some sort of diseased green buffalo. The hunters chase and kill the dinosaur, butcher it, and bring the meat back to Hatcher at the dig site. Turtledove's trademark irony arrives at the end, when Hatcher offers to show Joe a newspaper cartoon featuring a skull of Triceratops. Joe refuses, and so neither man learns that their supper is not a diseased buffalo, but a dinosaur.

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