How to Make Prairie Dogs Clap Their Hands

Adrian Hanft
2 min readOct 21, 2017

Prairie dogs can’t clap.

Around here they get so fat that their short arms can’t stretch across their pudgy bodies.

When they spot me running through their field they jump into their bunker holes, diving for cover.

As I pass they chirp prairie dog profanity at me. They seem to shake their tiny fists, threatening me, telling me that I am lucky they let me escape this time, but if I ever come back there will be retribution. My intrusion is an act of war.

Passing through prairie dog territory became the worst part of my runs.

The prairie dogs got under my skin.

Each time I crossed their land it got worse. I hated them. At one point I fantasized about returning to the field with a rifle and ridding the world of the rodents.

Then something changed. It is one of the reasons I run, it alters your mind.

I realized that my war with the prairie dogs wasn’t real. Sure, the dogs truly existed, but the war, the story I was creating every time I sprinted across the battle field existed only in my mind. There was nothing stopping me from creating a different story. So I did.

The next time I trespassed on prairie dog property I imagined them as my biggest fans. They weren’t ducking for cover, they were telling their family to come out so they could see the amazing runner passing by. They weren’t soldiers on lookout, they were eager fans hoping to get a glimpse of me. Their chirps weren’t curses but cheers. They weren’t shaking their fists, they were trying to clap their fat little hands.

My reality changed. I no longer dreaded crossing prairie dog land. I won the war.

Prairie dog transformation is trivial, but don’t underestimate the power of this ability that we all possess. So many of us get trapped in our stories, our dramas escalate until we become victims of hopeless situations. Jobs become dead ends. Countries become dystopias. No, you can’t make the annoying prairie dogs disappear, but the war — the story that is making us miserable — exists only in our minds. There is nothing stopping us from creating a different story.

If you are intrigued by the idea of altering your reality, here are some examples that further explain how to harness your super power:

Thanks for reading. I write every Saturday, so follow me so you don’t miss my next reality-altering story. Stay creative.



Adrian Hanft

Author of User Zero: Inside the Tool that is Reshaping Dystopia