The Groundhog Lied

I live in a part of the country where February 2 is almost a national holiday.  The tradition of Punxsutawney Phil, a ground hog (better known as a woodchuck) is used as an indicator for the following season:  6 weeks more of winter or 6 weeks of an early spring.  Either way, this furry hibernating creature comes out February 2 and whether or not he (who ever decided it would be a “he”?) sees his shadow.

If he sees his shadow, this means that the weather is sunny and we have six more weeks of winter because he will retreat back into his den.  If he doesn’t see his shadow, this means an early spring, and he’ll hang outside for a while.

Now I’ve been confused about this, as early as childhood, because the known method escapes me; I’m more about the logical part.  If he sees his shadow, this to me means early spring.  Much like the story of Noah with the ark and a dove bringing back a branch, old Phil sees the sun and the weather is warm, making him stay outside and do what groundhogs do.  And anyone knows that bears come out of hibernation in the spring when it’s sunny, so why not the same for groundhogs?

Getting to my point of writing; this year, old Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Hmmm.  And yet a few days ago, especially for the day previous and two days later, it was in the mid 60’s and sunny.  So sunny in fact, I was able to wash some vintage linens I purchased and hang them on the line.  Unheard of for this time of year, when we should have 5 inches of snow on the ground and cloudy skies.

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No, Mr. Groundhog, you were wrong.  That’s all there’s to it.  You’re fired.