My name is Myra and I am a prairie dog. I live in one of the isolated prairie dog villages in Albuquerque. For some reason, many members of your species seem to hate mine. I think it is probably because they don’t understand us.
We are not dangerous and we do not carry diseases. We simply live in little villages and mind our own business. Some people think we kill trees but that is not true. We do not feed on tree roots unless there is absolutely nothing else to eat. We find most of our food above ground.
Other little animals such as gophers will feed on the roots of trees and bushes. Other people think we carry the plague and can spread it to your species. This is also not true. When the fleas that carry the plague invade our villages, we die just as humans do. If our village is full of healthy, fun loving prairie dogs, then I can assure you that the fleas that carry the plague aren’t in our village.
Unlike some other small animals, we are not a prolific species. I may have four pups a year but generally only two will survive. We are lucky to be able to maintain a population if we are left alone.
For whatever reasons; fear, misunderstanding or just plain meanness, your species likes to persecute us. Recently some friends of mine who lived in a prairie dog village close to a church in northeast Albuquerque had their village covered by the church because the church officials were expanding their parking lot. One church official, when questioned, said he doesn’t give a “rat’s ass” about prairie dogs.
Doesn’t he understand that the same Being that created your species created us? Doesn’t he understand that all species can live in peace? Why does your species with your superior intelligence find it necessary to destroy other species?
Over at Kirtland Air Force Base, the military is gassing more of my friends. The gas that they use is very painful and very slow working. My friends will suffer in great pain for as long as 72 hours after being gassed, before they finally, mercifully, die. Other people like to shoot us with high-powered rifles so they can see us “explode” when the bullet rips us apart.
by Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund, Daily Lobo Columnist