Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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I want you to stop what you are doing, and look down. Chances are you are not standing on prairie grass. If one had lived when the settlers lived one would be standing in prairie grass. "Iowa used to be 90% prairie grass but now, there is only one-tenth of one percent left" (Schaben). Prairie life has changed so much over the past years. Prairie grass made Iowa what it is today, good farmland. Iowa would not be the same today if it were not covered in prairie grass years ago, but everything has changed for the better.

People who lived on prairies had many different animals to help them with their farming. They had cows, which they used for a source of milk, meat, and heat. They had chickens, which they used for sources of heat. They plucked the feathers to make quilts and to stuff pillows and things.

They also had horses, which they used for pulling the plow and also pulling their wagon. There were also many wild animals; the prairie was a perfect spot for snakes and other reptiles that did not require much water. The prairie was a prime habitat for the prairie dogs. Prairies are often known for prairie dogs. They were also very deadly to the gardens that the settlers planted because the prairie dogs would dig them up.

In the gardens they "grew cucumbers, melons, squash, and watermelon" (Women's 14). The settlers dug wells for something to hold the water in, and they had windmills to pump the water to the surface. The settlers sometimes had to water their gardens by hand because of the limited amount of rainfall. They might have had to walk up to five miles just to find water, then they would have to haul it all...