“The grass had grown not over a season but over centuries. It wouldn’t have grown at all had it not been for fire – prairie fires set by lightning and driven by wind across tens of thousands of acres, and fires set by Indians to stampede game into their ambushes or over cliffs – for fire clears the land of underbrush, relentless enemy of grass. […] Even with the aid of fire, the grass had grown slowly – agonizingly slowly. […] It had grown slowly because the soil beneath it was so thin.”
Robert Caro, 1982, The Years of London Johnson, Volume 1: The Path to Power.