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Wrong Side Up

A North Dakota Folktale

One spring in the early 1880s, a North Dakota pioneer was plowing his land. As he broke through the long prairie grass and turned it under in preparation for planting a crop of wheat, he noticed an old Dakota man watching him. When the pioneer stopped to rest, the old man approached him. The old man examined the plowed ground and finally picked up a clod of prairie grass which had been turned over by the plow.

"Wrong side up," he said, and put it down with the grass on top. Then he walked away.

The pioneer thought it a great joke at the time. But the old man was right. North Dakota lost millions of acres of good soil, blown away by the wind, because the settlers had turned the prairie grass wrong side up.

 

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series published by Globe Pequot Press. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of “let’s pretend” quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children’s Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.