Dateline: February 2, 2016
Just as the sun beam was creeping in the hole of Phil’s family home there came an obnoxious thumping. Phil’s mother ran through the tunnels of their fourth generation sub terrain home screaming for Phil to get up and find his scarf. “Today is the day!”
Every year it was the same for Phil, whose given name was Ralph after a big family fallout, but that’s a different story. Phil was the fourth generation groundhog who the handlers of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania came calling on to tell them his vision for the end of winter. Phil heard his mother, but rolled over. “Really mom, can those humans not look at a calendar?”
Pulling the covers back and nudging him up, his mother wrapped the scarf around his thick neck. “That’s not the point Phillip. This is our family legacy, like your father, your grandfather and your…” Rubbing his eyes and shaking himself awake Phil waddled toward the thumping sound. “Yea, I know and my great grandfather who came over on some big ship, half-starved when he arrived to a better life in America.”
“Phillip, stop that. Be proud of our family and go out there and tell these humans what you see.” With a smirk. “Or don’t see.”
As Phil poked his head out of the entry, a large gloved hand reached down and swooped him high for the thousands to see. The man was wearing a funny hat. Maybe I’ll get me one of those for next year.
The crowd grew silent as they watched the rodent sniff the platform. Would he stay a while and declare a short winter? Or would he see his shadow and scurry back into his hole? Phil gave the people a few minutes of suspense and strongly considered zipping back into his warm, safe cavern. But then something caught his eye. Something no one else would have noticed.
Across the park just outside the gathering of fans, who didn’t realize cheering his name would sway him, were three of the cutest female groundhogs Phil had ever laid eyes on. They were chippering amongst themselves. True motivation to stay out for a while and enjoy the scenery. Knowing the three lady friends were watching, Phil stood up on his hind legs and sent them a view of his abs of steel that only female groundhogs could appreciate.
The crowd went crazy the man with the tall hat grabbed the microphone and announced his interpretation of Phil’s prediction that spring would in fact come early this year! The band played and the people hugged. Phil took advantage of the distraction and scurried off the platform and hid.
Will Phil stay close and meet his three fans? Will his mother ever quit rehashing the groundhog story? Will spring really come early or arrive on March 20th as always? My friend, these are questions I will leave you to ponder.