My almost 8 year old granddaughter and I wrote this story after seeing a Prairie Dog Town next to a residential construction site.
By Geralena Ahl & Lucy Ahl
Once upon a time in a little prairie town outside of Boulder, CO, there lived a large family of prairie dogs. Gigi, was the older sister to Penelope and Celeste. And Bennie was Gigi’s older brother. They all lived together in a huge hole in the ground with many different tunnels.
Mom, Amanda, Grandma Lucy and Grandpa Dana also lived with them along with Uncle Daniel and Aunts Jojo, Meme, and Angela. Gigi’s dad, Carson, had met with an untimely death when a ferret came through town, devouring any prairie dogs who had been out after dark. Though the family mourned his absence, he was never forgotten. They all loved each other with all their hearts and they became more protective of each other and their home.
Very early one morning, Gigi was awoken by a large rumbling. She jumped out of bed and ran to the opening nearest her bedroom. She popped her head out and looked around. There was a large yellow monster with big teeth pulling up dirt and moving it around. She gasped and ran back down the tunnel to alert her family.
“Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, there is a big yellow monster outside digging up our town. Quick come see for yourself.”
Everyone in the household peeked out the hole to see what Gigi was talking about.
Gigi’s mom said, “We should go and talk to the mayor to find out what is happening to our town.”
By this time, most of the town’s prairie dogs were up and looking out of their holes. Most had a puzzled look on their faces and some were running around in a panic.
The mayor was running around yelling, “Oh, no, oh, no what are we to do?”
Gigi ran over to the mayor and said, “We should gather everyone up and have a town meeting.”
“You’re right, you’re right,” said the mayor who was relieved that someone came up with a bright idea.
Gigi went over to Bob the sentry dog and asked him to announce the town meeting. Everyone listened to Bob because his job was to warn the town of any dangers.
It was decided during the town meeting, that all the sentries would be on 24 hour service. If the monster got too close to the wards, they would need to move the town to a safer place.
Stanley who is Bob’s brother, would take the evening shift and Bob would take the day shift. The warning bark would be 2 short and one long winded barks which would warn the town that the yellow monster was getting too close to their town. In the meantime, everyone should go about their daily business but to be on alert just in case they had to move right away.
As the days went by, the rumblings continued and the big yellow monster seemed to stay away from the prairie dogs town. Gigi and her sisters and brother went about collecting seeds and roots during the day to store for the upcoming winter.
One day, Gigi decided to go and do some collecting where the big yellow monster was digging. It hadn’t moved for a day or two so she thought it was safe to check it out. Crawling close to the ground she inched her way over to the monster. She was amazed at the big teeth. She would run over to the teeth, touch them and then run away for cover in case she woke up the monster.
But the monster didn’t wake up. Maybe the monster died, she thought. This is great news for the town.
But the next morning, Gigi awoke to the ground rumbling once again.
There must be a way to get rid of the big yellow monster. As she lay in bed at night, she continued to think up clever ways to get rid of the monster. But the monster was too strong and too big for anyone in her town to tackle. Then one night, Gigi came up with a super good idea. During her exploration of the yellow monster, she saw black strings that seemed to hold the monster together. Since the monster seemed to sleep peacefully at night, she would gather everyone in the town to come out at night to use their teeth to bite through the strings in hopes of disabling the monsters teeth. Now she knew prairie dogs did not like to come out at night because they faced many predators who liked to eat them, so they had to be especially careful. They would need to rely on Bob and Stanley to keep watch, while they worked away at the black strings.
It was a full moon night when they decided to make their move. Gigi was in charge of placing each prairie dog and their teeth on the black strings. Since Penelope and Celeste were so young, and their teeth were super sharp, she placed them on the thicker strings. Grandma Lucy and Grandpa Dana, since they were so old and their teeth weren’t as sharp, were placed on the skinnier strings. The rest of the town prairie dogs were situated throughout the yellow monster’s body and they chewed and chewed all night long. Just before sunrise, they had managed to chew through all the black strings on the yellow monster. Exhausted, they all headed home to their tunnels for some sleep.
As the day progressed, the ground did not rumble, not once. Along with the prairie dog town, the monster continued to sleep. The next day, a large silver monster with even bigger teeth took the large yellow monster away. The prairie dog town watched in awe as the silver monster moved away from their town. They all started to bark with joy and were forever thankful to Gigi for saving their little town. And they all lived together happily ever after and never saw the yellow monster again. The End.