Sunday, March 27, 2016

Moonshine and Prairie Dogs

For some reason, I have this fascination with the prohibition era.  I think it is because I know that some of my ancestors and Grandparents were moonshiners.

I ran across an interesting story when I was researching prohibition in an Oklahoma paper printed in 1921.  The story is about moonshine and prairie dogs. 

Prairie dogs are a type of squirrel.  They build complex tunnels that include separate areas for sleeping, going to the toilet, and even a separate area to be used for a nursery.  They live in large colonies and feed on grasses, roots, and seeds.   They tend to be very social little creatures.  They have a complex communication system that include different pitched barking sounds.  Prairie dogs got their name from settlers crossing the plains.  The settlers thought they sounded like dogs barking.

 Check out this article I found.
The El Reno Daily Democrat (El Reno, Okla.), Vol. 31, No. 5, Ed. 1 Wednesday, April 20, 1921
Prairie Dogs Soused  (By United Press)

Cheyenne, Wyo., April 20.--Wyoming prairie dogs are the latest victims of illegal booze traffic.  When a sheriff's posse visited the country west of Cheyenne recently in search of moonshine stills, members of the band saw staggering prairie dogs, unable to find the "front door" to their holes.  Investigation showed that several pints of whisky had been "cached" in various prairie dog holes and had been broken with the consequences of a spree in dog town.

These particular prairie dogs mentioned in the article above apparently, washed their grasses, roots, and seeds down with moonshine. 

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