This week, I was beginning to get upset with their mom, she was on a roll, digging more holes than any prairie dog would need. Then these little guys popped up. She had been preparing escape routes for them, so that when they emerged into daylight, they would have a chance at being safe. That was their mom in last week's barn stories, barking at me in the early morning. I was disturbing her peace. I did not know that her nest below was getting a little crowded and rowdy. They are the size of my hand, just perfect and ready for life. Look at that little black tail, they are Black Tail Prairie Dogs.
This little guy is standing and listening to the conversations around him, the adults have a warning system, when a hawk is in the area there is a riot of barking rolling through the pastures, until it has passed over. By the number of prairie dogs on the farm, mom and dad keep them pretty safe.
They are having such fun exploring the world, every thing is new to them. This wee one, is just four inches high, I think he or she is pretty brave, mom is not nearby, but a hole is.
Once full, they sit down on their back side like a baby bear, just enjoying the sun. Their eyes are bright and big, not what you would expect for a rodent who lives down below, most of the time. I remember reading about Mr. Mole from Wind and the Willows, with his spectacles and barely visible eyes
The paws, which move amazing amounts of dirt, resemble our hands just furry with long fingernails. They are very affectionate with each other hugging and kissing, or maybe it's rubbing noses. This little guy sat just for a moment before, he or she quickly returned back down it's hole. I now understand why mama was digging all those holes.
To mama's everywhere and the work that they do to keep their wee ones safe.
*Last time in Barn Stories: Early Morning