F😳ck off! Screamed the prairie dog.

I jumped a foot and uttered a curse word.

I mean, I wasn’t prepared for that kind of reaction outta that cute little rolypoly creature. Given he was tubby and nicely groomed (didn’t appear to have fleas), it was a bit of a shocker.

It all started when I decided I wanted to visit “Robert’s Prairie Dog Town”. In TripAdvisor and Google, it shows adorable little prairie dogs coming right up to people and snacking on offered peanuts, purchased from some mythical store just beyond the sign.

There is no store. Fortunately, I had sunflower seeds in the car.

Me in front of a sign that reads Robert’s Prairie Dog Town
The guides I’ve seen all give the impression there’s a shop just beyond this sign. Lies. All lies. There is NOTHING HERE.

There’s bison poop and what looks like a miniature golf course designed by a hyperactive four year old in the middle of the desert. There are holes everywhere you look. This is not the place for the visually impaired, they’d wind up with two broken ankles – those holes are BIG.

Panorama view of the area
Not easy to see, but all those splotches are the holes from the dogs. Also note the lack of gift/peanut shop just beyond the sign… or anywhere else…

So, when I got there, a man was attempting to take a snap of the prairie dog (which is more like the love child of an obese rat, a raccoon and a guinea pig on steroids) while his wife and kids watched. He stayed firmly entrenched in his hole, just sticking his head out a bit to see what was going on.

Not a terribly impressive pic, until I produced my bag o’ sunflower kernels. That dawg had clearly listened to that rustle before now…

Greedy little porker.

Okay, I know it’s probably not right to feed the wildlife, but seriously, look at that rodent. That is NOT an underfed little guy. I imagine they had some lean times during the early days of the pandemic, but he seems to be doing okay now.

So while he was chowing down on sunflower seeds, his wife/buddy/whatever stuck his/her head outta the same hole.

She was a lot more shy, but I coaxed her over towards me by flinging seeds in her direction. Meanwhile, Tubby wandered a little way off and then howled the obscenity.

Which resulted in me squealing mine.

The cursing prairie dog

Turns out, another prairie dog was creeping up to try to get some of the goodies and ole Tubbers was having none of it – and he told the competitor in no uncertain terms.

Other note for anyone who decides to brave the trek out here… when they say “unpaved road”… they aren’t kidding. If you are on a motorbike, you’ll need a mask (like a mask for a gas leak) because the clouds of dust kicked up are monstrous.

Also, the bison poo? Yeah, those bison get up close. Personally, I have no desire to wind up a statistic, so I stayed in my car when this appeared roadside as I was heading back to civilization… unlike the car ahead of me. Idiots.

Large male bison
This fella was roadside… god knows what he was thinking. It’s a little blurry as I was continuing to drive. I wanted to hit the gas and get outta there if I needed to.

As I drove off, I realized next spring there might be a large cluster of sunflowers sprouting up…

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