The warnings were dire. Heading by wagon in to the South Dakota Badlands, folks told me, “your mule will catch the bubonic plague that’s killing the prairie dogs.” Damn. I’m thinking 14th Century Black Death and here I am walking through it with my mule.
In the end, it was a case of folks projecting their own fears, not a real danger. Yes, prairie dogs get bubonic plaugue. No, it almost never crossed over to humans.
Prairie dogs, I learned, made for frisky company on the wide open Great Plains.