Indians and buffalo roamed the High Plains,
Both, in search of food and shelter.
The buffalo grazed and moved, seeking a
blowout or grove of trees near a waterway.
In winter, pawed the snow,
hidden grass discovered..
The Indians followed, taking only what they
needed, making use of every bit of the carcass.
In winter they ate the dried meat, hides for
shelter and clothing, tools from bones.
Never having seen the sea- they didn’t see what
Spencer Tracy saw.
He, Buxton, told the Easterners about the High
Plains sea, A Sea of Grass, wind blowing it in
waves as far as the eye could see.
Buxton, the cattle baron ran cattle, battled the sodbusters,
overgrazed the land. It had its limits. He
lost countless cattle to the bitter High Plains
Did the sodbusters know better? They cut
the grass with scythes and stacked it, one pitchfork
at a time. Winter’s on its way. As the
cattle fed, the dome shaped stacks became mushrooms-
toppling when the top became too heavy.
Machinery was developed, mowing the grass became
easier as did stacking. Progress- stacks became
rectangular bales and those became multi-ton bales.
One man with a front loader, moving the
massive bales anywhere they were needed. Lower
them to the ground, cut the binding and roll out
the dinner table.
The fields in Nebraska Hay Country
are populated with huge, round hay bales.
Recently, I saw them– frosted with snow.
‘Cupcakes for Cattle”, I thought, and wished
I’d stopped to snap a photo.