© 2022
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Fleas Go Postal


The late Bill Shemoory, a newspaperman in Williston, told a story of a winter day in the 1930s when several boxes of coyote pelts were brought to the Williston post office for shipping. Postal employees rolled the boxes inside to weigh the pelts, when one fell off and burst open. Out jumped thousands of little red fleas that promptly licked their chops and went after everyone in the place. One man was so overcome by the little munchers, he stripped off his clothes and ran down to the basement to shower. It didn’t work. He was still infested and ended up having to bathe in kerosene.

Needless to say, the pelts were immediately shoved back outside. That night, the temperature plunged to 25 below, and in the morning it was said there were so many frozen fleas lying on the loading dock, it looked like red confetti.'

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm