Monday, February 2, 2009

A Reminisce: About a most misunderstood critter

Every spring, farmers and small boys all across the country wipe down their BB's or 22's in anticipation of rodent summers. They aim at groundhogs that dig up fields, making traveling dangerous across the fields for the larger beasts of the farm. But about 6 weeks before the guns come off their racks, for one day of the year just before spring, we actually honor these little guys. We keep some in cages and poke them out every February 2nd in hopes that they will predict an early spring. But it seems so backwards to me. Such as today. We have a beautiful warm sun shining, snow is melting, reminding us that spring will come eventually. But because Wiarton Willy saw his shadow in the sun, we are actually suppose to have 6 more weeks of winter. Had he not seen his shadow (on a dark, dreary, "winter's never gonna end" kind of day), spring is to be early.
I'm quite the opposite. When I see a sunny day, I'd rather stay outside and play, it's those dark days I'd rather stay inside and go back to bed.
Entire festivals are held around these critters, which are great for the economy and winter tourism of course. But does anyone actually count the weeks until they see the first patch of grass? My memory has me convinced that whether he sees his shadow or not, it's always 6 weeks before you would even suggest spring is around the corner. If March comes in like a lion, it is as an icy blast. But if it comes in as a Lamb, it still consists of the existing snow, and then it leaves as a lion, usually a horrid icy rain that leaves everything dirty and ugly. But the end of March is still more than 6 weeks away.
These poor critters have no choice in their participation of our tomfoolery of the day. And although I do understand a farmers conviction against these critters, I say "RUN CHUCKY, RUN!"

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