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Lords of the Prairies - A Tribute To The Bison

Dressed in my shaggy brown coat
I stand almost six feet
at my shoulders
and weigh almost a ton
I once roamed the prairies
in herds of millions
grazing on its grass
which fed and nourished
my brethren and I
for tens of thousands of years

Running at speeds of
over thirtyfive miles per hour
across the prairie
in herds that stretched
as far as the eye could see
our hooves created
a thunderous sound
that shook the earth
causing it to tremble
like an earthquake

We were slaughtered
in our millions
They left our dead bodies
to rot and decay
where we fell
Sometimes they took away our coats
other times they cut out
our tongues only
and left the rest
of our dead bodies
to putrefy and decay
on the prairie grasslands
that we had trod proudly on
for thousands of years

This is my epitaph
for I just saw the glint
of the sunlight
on the long mysterious stick
and heard its thunder
and felt something
go deep into my insides
as I fall to the ground
I shall go the way
of my proud ancestors
who once roamed
these lands in freedom as
Lords Of The Prairies
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Jun 2014
About this poem:
The arrival of vast waves of white settlers in the 1800s, and their conflict with the Native American residents of the prairies, spelled the end for the buffalo.
There were even buffalo killing contests. In one, a Kansan set a record by killing 120 bison in just 40 minutes. “Buffalo” Bill Cody, hired to slaughter the animals, killed more than 4,000 buffalo in just two years.
Some U.S. government officials even promoted the destruction of the bison herds as a way to defeat their Native American enemies, who were resisting the takeover of their lands by white settlers. One Congressman, James Throckmorton of Texas, believed that “it would be a great step forward in the civilization of the Indians and the preservation of peace on the border if there was not a buffalo in existence.” Soon, military commanders were ordering their troops to kill buffalo — not for food, but to deny Native Americans their own source of food. One general believed that buffalo hunters “did more to defeat the Indian nations in a few years than soldiers did in 50.” By 1880, the slaughter was almost over. Where millions of buffalo once roamed, only a few thousand animals remained.

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Comments (11)

Mintaka
Wild horses...

thumbs up
socrates44online today!
Mintaka

Excuse me for not being more specific in the title; I have adjusted it accordingly.
I wrote this piece as a tribute to the bison who were slaughtered in their millions and left to rot on the Prairies.
Thanks for your comment!
Have a nice day!
Redex
This is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful animal Socrates.teddybear
Mintaka
Socrates:

Well, I feel so embarrassed right now. blushing

I really thought it was about horses running wild and free.doh

Will pay more attention next time.professor



wave
socrates44online today!
Redex
Thanks for your comment.
The poor innocent animal was used as a pawn to overcome the Native Indians. What a tragedy!
Have a lovely day!
socrates44online today!
Mintaka

Don't be embarrassed. I should have been more explicit, which I subsequently was, in the title and in "about this poem".
At least, you sensed the freedom of the animals as they roamed the Prairies.
Have a great day!
Redex
Socrates I read about their story so long ago but it is the way of the world sadly animals, people are used for obscure reasons to us the little people. Hard world to understand sometime but your poem depicts a true picture.teddybear
morgen90210
It's a tragedy as well as travesty
This were like elephants in Africa
They had no equals in their land
Beautiful poem my dear friend handshake
godsprincessonline now!
A sad chapter in my country's history. I wish our ancestors had learned to respect the land better from the Native Americans who were already living here and lived in harmony with them and with the land. But alas - I'm afraid we still have not learned the lessons from the past - we still continue to destroy the land, water and pollute the sky. Now they are looking to the Universe for another Earth like planet to migrate to so that they can use up the resources there and destroy it too. Never learn. crying sad flower

Kathy
rusticbink
just seen your prose to Bison ,
I live in the land of their summer range
found artifacts the natives used to hunt
and even some old bones hidden in the bush
I can only imagine them roaming and grazing
the vast flat lands of the praires . writing
keep up the good work!
Nuwahri61
Hi Socrates ..........Enjoyed your tribute to the amazing bison ..........such a sad event in time that we still haven't learned from ..........much like the indigenous people of all lands there was so much to be understood and respected if only we took a different approach ..........Regards NU grin
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