Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Prairie Girls

Divide Creek, Colo., April 26, 1905.

Of course you remember the story of the little prairie girl. I always associate it with you. Well, again and again on this trip we would pass through prairie villages—bleak and lonely—with all the people in from miles about to see me. Among them were often dozens of young girls, often pretty, and as far as I could see much more happy than the heroine of the story. One of them shook hands with me, and then, after much whispering, said: “We want to shake hands with the guard!” The “guard” proved to be Roly, who was very swell in his uniform, and whom they evidently thought much more attractive than the President, both in age and looks.

There are plenty of ranchmen round here; they drive over to camp to see me, usually bringing a cake, or some milk and eggs, and are very nice and friendly. About twenty of the men came out with me, “to see the President shoot a bear”; and fortunately I did so in the course of an exhausting twelve hours’ ride. I am very homesick for you all.