Prairie Dogs, Pronghorns & Penis Sheaths

by Biff Spork

Chapter 15

Prairie Playmates

There are various ways in which climate change can make weather more extreme. Some of them are fairly obvious – if you warm up the planet, you're going to have more frequent and intense heatwaves. Warmer planet, you're going to have more extremely hot days. You tend to see more flooding events, because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, so when it does rain or snow, you actually get more precipitation. The rain and snow falls in larger amounts, and that's something we've seen as well in recent years.


Over the next few days, I moved down the hillside until I was right on the edge of Dogtown, less than twenty feet from Big Mama's burrow. Then, one morning I moved into the town itself, about ten feet from Big Mama's main burrow entrance. I had found that the prairie dogs were less likely to be afraid of me if I was on all fours so I had crept to my new position on my hands and knees and waited hopefully, lying flat on the ground with my chin on my hands.

I could hear the faint buzz of the drone overhead. Marcus was filming my initial visit to Dogtown. I saw Big Mama stick her head out of her burrow and look at me. Then she came out with her pups tumbling after her. They played around the burrow entrance, while she went past me into the grass to forage for seeds. After a few minutes, one of the pups noticed me and came towards me. I held my breath. He walked right up to my face, looked at me, then leaned forward and kissed my nose. I could barely resist jumping up and shouting with joy. Then the other three pups came along and touched their noses to my face. I moved my head around a bit so they would get used to me moving. One of them climbed up onto my back. Then he stood up and gave a little bark. The others scrambled up to join him so all four pups were standing on my back.

Big Mama came back, walked up to my face and touched my nose. Then she barked and the pups got off my back. They all jumped on Big Mama and nursed on her for a few minutes. Then one came back to me and started to climb up my face. I butted him with my nose so he fell backward. He righted himself and I reached out my hand and petted him on the back. He seemed to like that. Another one came over and watched, so I petted him too.

For the next hour, the pups and I played. I rolled over onto my back and they climbed onto my belly. One of them climbed over my penis. Of course, I immediately got a boner. Sometimes my dick is so stupid. The pups didn't care. They grew used to my hands moving them around, and I was able to handle them freely while they played. At one point one of the pups climbed up onto my stomach, stretched out and went to sleep. One by one, the other three tucked themselves along my sides and also had naps. To me, this seemed the ultimate sign of trust, and I lay as if dead until they all woke up and started moving around again.

After two hours, I was exhausted from holding still and being careful not to frighten the pups or other prairie dogs in the neighborhood. I slowly wormed my way to the base of the hill and then crawled up to where Marcus was sitting. It was a relief to stand up and stretch.

"Marcus, that was so fantastic. Those pups are so cute. Let's go have lunch and then come back. I want to play with them all afternoon."

"I got it all on video," said Marcus. "It's amazing."

"Yikes, I forgot about that. You know one of the pups crawled onto my dick and I got a boner," I said.

"Oh yeah, I zoomed in for a close-up on that," said Marcus. "I can hardly wait to share that with the world, you getting horny for a baby prairie dog. I'm sure that's a first. You're a pup-ophile! It would definitely go viral."


"Okay, okay. Don't worry, we can edit that part out."

"Marcus, we are not going to share any videos of me naked, boner or not."

"That's a shame, Bumpcus, because you're so beautiful naked. And even better with a boner."

"I'm happy you like it, Doofus. But nobody but you is ever going to see it. How is the map-making going?" said I, trying to change the subject.

"You-tube would take it down anyway," continued Marcus, undeterred. "They're death on porn videos with prairie dogs."

"The map-making?"

"We'd have to put it up on porn-hub. Even there we might get static because of the age of the prairie dog pup. Maybe next time you want sex in Dogtown, you could get Big Mama to cuddle your boner."

"If you don't talk about map-making immediately I'll tie you up and do things to you. Painful things! I'll use sharp objects. I'll make you scream and cry."

Marcus gave up, and as we strolled back to the campsite, he described the difficulties he was having calibrating the distances between burrow entrances from the images captured by his drone. He wanted me to measure how far apart were the entrances of Big Mama's and The Boss's burrows. Then by using that known distance and keeping the drone at a steady altitude, he could properly scale the rest of his map. My afternoon's work was cut out.

While our lunch soup cooked, Marcus and I practiced hatha yoga from a book Jason had brought for us. I was particularly happy with padmasana , the lotus position. Marcus and I were both pretty limber and had no difficulty assuming this posture. When I was seated like that, I felt so solid and secure that I knew I could sit for hours without getting restless. I decided that as soon as I thought the prairie dogs could handle me being upright, I would adopt the lotus position, so I could take notes and look around a little more freely than from a lying position.

After lunch, I realized that as much as I wanted to go back to Dogtown and play with the pups, it was too hot. They would all be in their subterranean living quarters. Every day seemed hotter. The grass, so green when we had first arrived, had begun to dry and turn yellow under the relentless sun. Even the riverside trees seemed stressed and drooping by noon. Marcus and I were in and out of the river a half dozen times every day, enjoying its cool waters. The river too had changed. It was higher and flowing more swiftly every day, and its clear waters were murky with silt from upstream.

After we washed the lunch dishes, we sat and chatted in the shade and I found out how brilliant my Marcus was. We had been idly musing about our observations of life in Dogtown, when Marcus suddenly jumped to his feet and exclaimed, "That's it! Oh Bumpcus! Our prairie dogs are genius, absolutely genius!"

"C'mon, Marcus, sit down and explain. It's too hot for jumping around."

Marcus sat. "They've discovered Bernoulli's Principle!"

"And that is?"

"You know I've been flying the drone over Dogtown looking at all the burrow entrances, and I noticed that every burrow has two or three or maybe even more entrances. But no matter how many entrances it has, one of them is always that raised dome kind, the kind that looks like a miniature Mount Fuji."


"And we thought because of its extra height, that kind of entrance was just used as a lookout post, a bit of high ground where they could survey the area better, and see danger approaching."


"Did you ever study the Bernoulli Principle in school?"

"Maybe. It sounds familiar."

"Granddad and I used to build model planes and fly them and he explained how planes fly. It's the Bernoulli Principle, that's what makes wings work so the plane rises."

"I'm still lost, Marcus."

"Okay. Because of the curvature of the top of the wing, the air has to flow faster over the curved top of the wing than across the flat bottom because it's got further to go. Bernoulli's Principle explains why the air pressure on the top of the wing is less than on the bottom of the wing. That faster speed necessary to get over the top of the wing means lower air pressure on top and that means the wing rises, the plane rises and everyone gets to go to the Bahamas for a holiday."

"That's neat, but…."

"You know how out on the prairie there is always a little breeze, not much but always a little movement of the air."


"Well, when that little breeze passes over the top of the domed entrances, it's lower pressure than the air inside the burrow because it has to go up and over the dome, so it sucks some of the air out of the burrow, and what you end up with is a breeze that blows through the burrow. I'm just guessing, but I bet the dogs all have living rooms fairly close to the domed entrance, and they are cooled by air that has been drawn in from a flat entrance that is maybe fifteen or twenty feet away. As the air moves through the deep tunnels it gets cooled and moistened, so by the time it gets to their living room it is cooler than the air outside. We're sweltering in the heat up here while all the dogs are lolling in air-conditioned comfort underground."

"Marcus, that's incredible!" I said.

"Yeah, those prairie dogs are amazing. Bernoulli's Principle!"

"No, I mean you're incredible, for figuring that out. I'm just a moron."

"No, all the brilliance here is the prairie dogs'. I just happened to learn this stuff. But the prairie dogs, they figured it out and applied it practically. I'm so impressed with them. We're so lucky, my dear sweet Bumpkin, to be able to spend some time learning just how smart these animals are."

Here, as so often in our discussions, we fell to kissing and hugging for quite some time.

Before we left for our afternoon session in Dogtown, Marcus phoned Jason to request he bring us a thermometer on his next visit, so we could see what the temperature was inside a burrow. Marcus was guessing we would find the temperature was lower beneath the domed entrances, than beneath the flat entrances.

When I slithered into position near Big Mama's burrow, the dogs were still napping down below. I took advantage of their absence to tap a wooden peg

into the ground at the edge of her burrow. Then I fixed one end of a length of cord to the peg and inched my way slowly towards The Boss's burrow. Once there, I tied a knot in the cord and wormed my way back to Big Mama's. That knotted cord would serve as the measure of distance between the two burrows. Marcus could use it to scale his map-work.

As soon as Big Mama's pups saw me returning, they all ran over and kissed me and started pulling on my hair and climbing on me, like I was their jungle gym. Big Mama came up to me and touched her nose to mine. All that ground-level slithering I did between the two burrows, about thirty feet each way, left me pretty tired, so I just lay there and let the pups play on and around me, while I listened to them.

I was interested in everything about the prairie dogs, but I found the variety of sounds they made most intriguing. I recognized a couple of their calls now: the warning call for a hawk and the one for a snake, almost the same but not quite. Then there was the 'all clear' call when it was safe to come out. There was also the 'come here' call the mothers used to get the pups to go to them. There were other barks and squeaks I didn't understand yet, so I often closed my eyes to focus on the sounds.

In the evening, it was so hot and humid that Marcus and I lay on top of our sleeping bag. I was nuzzling under Marcus' arm. We had decided to stop using soap a few days before. It was Marcus' idea. He had read online about the skin microbiome and because we were trying to live as naturally as possible, he had suggested we should give up using soap, except when we wanted to disinfect something, like a cut. Marcus had silky-smooth skin, but it seemed to me it had gotten even silkier and smoother since we had stopped using soap. He said it was because we were no longer soaping the natural oils away.

"And Marcus, you know I was afraid we might start to smell bad, you know, B.O.?"

"Yeah, we totally bought the soap companies' hype," he said.

"Well, you do smell more, but it's just more Marcus. It's a good smell. It's not a bad smell. It's a healthy human boy smell," I said and took a deep sniff of him. Then I couldn't resist tickling him with my tongue and we giggled and wrestled for a few minutes.

"Hey," he said. "It's early and we've bathed and eaten. It's so hot, you know what I'd like to do?"


"Let's do a vision quest again, but this time not even take the sleeping bag or anything. Just you and me naked on the hilltop."

The sky was overcast with dense gray cloud and after sunset, the darkness on our hilltop was complete. We sat back to back, both of us in the lotus posture. It was so dark I couldn't see my hands on my knees. The night was perfectly still, like the world was holding its breath, and the hot air around us was like a blanket. We stayed like that in utter silence for a few hours. Then, without any discussion, we moved around to sit front to front as we had done before. We held each other tightly. It seemed there was nothing else. We were swallowed in the black night with nothing to hold on to but each other. Once again I drifted in and out, not of sleep, but of a different kind of consciousness, a kind of happiness where I was floating freely except where anchored by the loving touch of Marcus' warm skin.

A hint of a breeze signaled the dawn. When I opened my eyes, I saw the morning star at the edge of the planet, and a sprinkling of other stars fading in the blueing sky. When the first sliver of sun rose over the horizon and its rays kissed my cheek, I felt such a burst of joy I wanted to tell Marcus how much I loved him, but I had no words strong enough to hold the feeling. The way he held me made me realize he felt the same. We embraced and then just gazed into each other's eyes for long minutes.

My stomach growled. We burst into laughter and ran down the hillside to make breakfast.

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