Saturday was February 2. That’s a VERY IMPORTANT day for two-leggers in Canada. They call it… GROUNDHOG DAY.
When Elizabeth and Kay were discussing it over breakfast, they thought I was asleep having pleasant doggie dreams. But I wasn’t. Despite the fact that I had just had my breakfast and two chicken balls laden with morning meds, I was not above perking up when I heard the words ‘gound hog’. I began to drool in anticipation of the delicious dripping I would get over my evening meal if Kay cooked ground hog through the day. What a delightful repast to come home from work to! Yeeuummm!
My head was resting on Elizabeth’s feet – they make a wonderful pillow. I guess she felt my reaction. She pushed her chair back, my head went THUMP on the floor and Elizabeth delivered another rude awakening:
“Groundhog, Stella. Not ground pork. GROUNDHOG.”
“What! In this weather?” I’ve stood in front of the deep freeze when she’s opened it to get two-legger food out of it. It’s like standing in front of a bonfire compared to the temperatures outside today! And, I’ve seen pictures of hogs. They’re like two-leggers on four legs, with one major disadvantage in weather like this… Unlike two-leggers, hogs don’t seem to have any removable wool that they can put on their nearly wool-free bodies when it gets really cold.
I shivered in sympathy with my envisioned hog. Yes, they taste good, but the fact that I enjoy eating them doesn’t mean I enjoy the thought of them suffering!
“Groundhog, Stella. Not pig.”
“They’re those garden-raiding, tubby rodents that chirp so loudly when you chase them into the culvert in the summertime.”
Oh, of course. I knew that. I just haven’t seen one for months. Which begs an obvious question: “Why do they call today Groundhog Day? You two-leggers don’t have Dog Day, yet you seem to really like us and want us around all the time. Then when some thieving rodent isn’t anywhere in sight, you decide to commemorate it by giving it a day all of its own? As if you miss it? I don’t understand.”
“It isn’t really the animal we are honouring, Stella. It’s our way of remembering what the groundhog does on the second day of February.”
“Some animal behaviour is very predictable. Like bird migration. Birds almost always return on the same day every year, year after year. Sometimes they’re off by a day or two, but usually you can set your watch by them.” Elizabeth looks at her watch to tell two-legger time. She’s exaggerating a bit with this statement, but I understand what she means. “In some parts of the groundhog’s range, they come out of their burrows on the second of February to see what the weather is like. We believe that, if the groundhog sees his shadow, it is so badly frightened by it that it dashes back underground for another six weeks. That means that there is another six weeks of winter coming. If it doesn’t see its shadow, then “Spring has sprung, the grass is riz…”
Well that got my tail thumping hard. What a ridiculous thing to think, that we would EVER have green grass in February! BOL! It is -38C out there this morning [Scribal note for US readers: -36.4F]. Without the windchill!
Trust me, two-leggers. If that little root-grubbing, leaf-eating, garden-robbing fur ball is cozy in his burrow on a day like today, he isn’t coming anywhere near the surface to see what the weather’s like anytime soon! And when it does get warm enough for him to raise his chubby little cheeks above ground, it won’t be his shadow that chases him back to where he came from, no sir! -:o[=