Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Huge Rodent and Me

My neighbor said that a prairie dog, and she saw it, dug up her pretty plants, and I said "I'll shoot it." But she persuaded me it had the same right to live that we did, and I said I was just teasing because I don't shoot defenseless animals unless they bother me.

I'd never seen a prairie dog on this property, maybe because they can't dig here much; the soil is one inch of loam on top of six inches of clay on top of sandstone. Prairie it's not. But I did notice things happening: Bricks I'd carefully piled around the onion/flower beds had tumbled over. I found a pair of Green Cracking Russula mushrooms in the lawn and hoped for more because they're edible, and when I looked for more I found them like this:
I scratched my head. Squirrels do bite on these things, but chew the tender parts to shreds, no. And then I was sittin' workin' and I saw (now, it looks like a Loch Ness photo, but I swear it's genuine) in my yard a prairie dog, a cross between a rat and a squirrel, except much bigger, and in prehistoric times they were man-sized. They know this, having discovered skeletons in 2011:
Image source: A site interestingly called (Does your ex-boyfriend look more like the figure on the right, or the figure on the left? Either way, you have my sympathy.)

I took what photo I could of the prairie dog. It must have been around here quite a while because it knows my temperament and the extent of my patience for large rodents who chew on my mushrooms. As I turned the doorknob to go outside and get a better photo, it turned tail (it's a black-tailed prairie dog) and fled.

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