Prairie Dog Blessings

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by Ann Weiler Walka

 At the Traps:  close gently and keep the little dog safe
Ah little dogs
Your friends are making prayers for you
Your friends are singing your praises
We bow to you who prosper by staying put
You who tend your garden and shelter your neighbors
You who stand watch
We honor your work:  burrowing, raising fat babies
feeding hawk with your bodies
We thank you for your rich soil and thick grass,
for the circle of lives
We thank you for standing watch for us all
We thank you for standing your ground
Your friends are singing your praises
Your friends are making prayers for you
In your new home, we wish you this again

At Departure
Blessings little dogs on your journey.
May the comfort of home travel with  you.
May you leave this cage in good voice and good health.
May your sharp eyes keep you safe in the new place.
May the desert sun warm you early and late.
May you greet your relations before nightfall.
May you sleep unafraid in your new burrow.
May the hawk and coyotes be fooled by your migration.
May the badgers be taken by surprise.
In your new home may you find companions, sanctuary, seeds.

At Release:  wishes for the new life (to choose from)
May you go safely into this new life.
May you find sanctuary, seeds, solace.
May this ground be your home.
May your relatives arrive soon and thrive with you.
May the coyotes be fat and the badgers lazy.  May the hawks fly off toward the mountain.
May the grasses grow thick and tender.  May the seeds by abundant.  May the leaves be wet and sweet.
May the desert sun warm your back early and late.
May your children grow fat and lively.
May you be in good voice and good health.
May your eyes be sharp and your mind smooth.
May the new dangers be clear.
May your territories be spacious and distinct.
May the desert ground shelter you well.
May your life here be good.  May your death feed the hungry.

A Message to Humans

"I used to be a city fellow.  I grew up with the city noises of cars and trains and machines and humans.  My family lived close to downtown Flagstaff not far from the railroad tracks along Route 66.  What a busy, frightening place it was."
Read My Letter to You

Prairie Dog Life

Click on the burrow images to find out more.

Nursing Chamber

A mother keeps her young pups safe while the other Prairie Dogs investigate the snake.

Entering the Burrow

A prairie dog hears an emergency cry of "snake" and goes to investigate.

Listening chamber

A prairie dog sits listening just beneath the surface of the ground.

The Rattlesnake

The rattlesnake found a prairie dog burrow to sleep in but has been discovered by the prairie dogs.

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