Dog Mice: haibun poetry

the grassland horizon is a distinct, fine line between yellow-green fields and pastel sky. gentle hills offer a thick scrub, but these small Sciuridae prefer the vast prairies of the Red Beds Plains where they can stand on top of their dirt hills and see—to their horizons in their extensive settlements. They are a gnawing mammal, with constantly growing incisors and no canines, which makes them rodents.

giant gerbils with
small prairie homes: fields of mounds
lil prairie dog towns

Several species of prairie dog (ground squirrel) exist across many of the United States. The Red Beds Plains are home to the Black-tailed prairie dog.

Their genus (Cynomys) is derived from the Greek word for “dog mouse”.

Further Reading:

8 Surprising Prairie Dog Facts

Prairie dog distribution (Primarily U.S.) map

Prairie dogs may be more friend than foe to Texas ranchers

Featured “prairie dog” photo by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash


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