I wrote this fun story in 2016 for Groundhog Day. It’s about a hero we think of but once a year. It is humorous and suggested that you don’t put too much thought into the piece of satire.
“Heroic,” Hilary Duckbill of the Punxsuawney, Pennsylvania, of the Brother Love News, writes. Tired of being the bearer of bad news, Punxsuawney Phil wants to correct a misstep or wrong doing”.
Punxsuawney Phil says the time for his retirement has come. “Heroes aren’t always born heroes. People make them that way by chance or choice. The thing that I regret the most, is working too little and allowing humans to put so much faith in a furry rodent”.
Hilary then wrote. “The past three decades, statistics showed that Punxy’s non-shadow bearing years were by chance. And they were slim at best. Meaning that by not seeing his shadow, Punxy predicted an early Spring. When Phil saw his shadow and returned to his hole, the winter cold prevailed another six weeks”.
The Brother Love News, reported that Phil was wrong in St. Petersburg, Florida. The shadow years, on average, were 13.9 degrees warmer than non-shadow years. And nothing in Florida would constitute an early Spring. The sun is bound to shine there, and the temperatures don’t rise and fall uniformly. Some cities just have a warmer climate between February 2nd, Groundhog’s Day and March.
Hilary quoted Punxy, “I am not the foremost weather oracle, I am a groundhog”.
She then asked him, “What are your plans for retirement Phil”?
Punxy’s tense smile covered his face as he pulled out a letter he drafted to the Mayor of Punxsuawney.
He said, “Miss Duckbill, if you will permit. I would like to read the letter I’ve written for our most esteemed Mayor, Bill Foxworthy”.
She gave a nod of the head and Punxy began…
Dear Mr. Mayor,
I’ve packed my bag with one Florida style shirt, a bottle of sunscreen, a straw hat and a pair of flip flops. I plan to leave my heavy fur coat, galoshes, knitted hat, mittens and neck scarf outside my door. Please be sure that a deserving homeless rodent gets the winter attire.
I’ve calculated it’ll be a 1,200 mile trip. I’ll start at the tunnel from my Pennsylvania doorstep to Niceville, Florida. I’ve rented a basement condo at the Bluewater Golf Club.
I hope you won’t find it difficult in replacing me as a Shadow Spotter.
Sincerely, Punxsuawney Phil
The cap lamp attached to Punxy’s hard hat lit his way in total darkness. Punxy dug his way south excavating 700 pounds of earth daily. In Niceville, Punxy found that his sublet was beneath sea level. And the premises had green mold almost everywhere. If there is one thing that a groundhog doesn’t like, it is wet soil.
Disappointed, Punxy found his way out onto the golf course where he met up with his old friend Bill Murray. Punxy began dancing amid the edge of the first hole cup. Bill was about 455 yards away and he was about to use a 2 iron… “It’s in the hole”! Phil shouted.
“I smell a varmint and the only good varmint, is a dead varmint. He’s a brown furry rodent… where are you my old pal Punxsuawney Phil”? Bill chortled.
“Over here Bill.” Less than enthusiastic, Punxy said, “You almost clocked me with your ball as you teed off”.
“What the heck are you doing in Florida, Phil? I once knew a gopher who could have been a great golf aficionado. But instead, he decided to become a weatherman”.
“Yup, Bill, that was once me, but let me tell you a story. What would you do if you were stuck in one place and nothing mattered except for one day a year? Well, Bill, I’m tired of giving advice or predicting the weather on that one specific day. Everybody expects me to set the fate of the Spring weather. Will Hope Spring Eternal. And leave folks with bated breath anticipating that Spring will arrive early. Or, will there be six more weeks of Winter. After the already brutal weather that most of the country has experienced.”
Bill pondered a moment, “Phil, you are my oldest and dearest friend. I hate seeing you so down and blue”.
“Bill, when I looked into the mirror a few days ago, I saw a rodent looking back. It was a rude awakening that I was nothing but a fraud. I should be in jail. I’m not the super hero that I’ve been cast to be. But at least in jail, I could get three square meals”.
“It was a decision that I made. And the right time for me to hang up my super hero cape. I need to shelve my top hat, break out the sunscreen and sunglasses and end my days of being the bearer of bad news”.
Hilary ended her story by adding a profound moral. “What is it about season changes that we long for? Sure the new growth and a fresh start of Spring excites us after a long winter. Punxsuawney Phil holds the greatest responsibility of any groundhog in the world. Every February 2, Groundhog Day, the fate of Spring’s arrival is in the balance of his hands. Retired or not, Punxsuawney Phil will always be the hero of Groundhog Day”.
I hope you enjoyed my blog. You are welcome to read more of my blogs and stories on my webpage. Http://klorraine.com