Every GROUND HOG has his day - February 2020

--by Luddd Creef

Winter is depressing as the cloudy dark days and nights crawl along through January, February and March. It is enough to cause a body to be perplexed.

Americans do not suffer well alone. We want and seek the companionship of other miserable creatures. Nothing to do but wander into the pre-dawn woods and dig up a sleeping Ground Hog and pass him around like a bowl of fruit.

Every February 2nd a large group of people in a place called Pennsylvania tramp into the woods and drag a large sleepy rodent from his underground den. The crowd cheers and yells and there are cameras and microphones and old men wearing top hats and long black coats. To add confusion to the episode, the handlers shake him and pass him around and call him PHIL! He shivers and blinks and tries to wiggle free but their grip is just too strong, so he just relaxes and plays along. There are hundreds of men, women and children all yelling, Phil, Phil, Phil. There is snow on the ground and snow falling. He has learned from past experiences that these people mean him no harm and even the year he bit a fat man on the ear, they did not hurt him. So whoever Phil is, and whatever they are chanting about won’t last long. Best to just play along with their silly game.

And a silly game it is… people who were curious and smart enough to go to the moon and back on rocket ships now fascinate themselves by digging up a rodent and yelling at him, in the snow, in the dark, in the cold, in the winter! Whoever chose the ground hog made a wise choice, passing around a sleepy bear would not turn out so well...and the headlines would always be the same, “another fat weatherman in a top hat eaten by a big sleepy bear”.

Someone once said, there really are no new ideas, just new ways of trying to do something that did not work last year. And there are new groups of people who try to improve on things that do work, but make no logical sense. This of course brings us to a street named Hickory Cove.

As noted earlier people get bored in the winter, and seek companions who might have an idea, a way to cause them to laugh and forget winter and taxes.

Nobody will take the blame/credit for the 2020 Hickory Cove Ground Hog party, it was in reality a group effort… initiated by the people from Maine?  But no laws were broken and there were no food fights or discouraging words, just wisecracks and laughter, enough to last a whole year.

We already knew that we have a resident Ground Hog (yes a real one) living behind one of our residences, a plump fellow who has learned to tolerate the sights and sounds of Hickory Cove. He likes us because we leave him alone and our fat dogs/cats are too lazy to chase him. Some people call him Henry.

Well people being people enduring February and Winter and Boredom, we combined our collective thoughts and much like the December Grinch, we had a wonderful idea! Why don’t we dig up Henry and have a Ground Hog party? Thankfully cooler, lazier minds prevailed and we just ordered a fake fur synthetic stuffed Ground Hog from a far away place called Amazon! He was the best smelling of all the party goers!

As the party plans progressed the excitement intensified and the party planners got all giggly whenever a meeting was held to iron out the details. Our small budget precluded the extra party stuff like a brass band or a magician. Next year we are going to plan ahead longer.

Each resident brought a dish of food, there were plenty of drinks , an authentic Ground Hog Martins Cake and snacks of every description.

We ate and burped. That added real authenticity to the party. Everyone brought a tacky wrapped gift that we exchanged again and again. If your gift was not so good, you simply claimed a gift from someone else. Great fun and lots of wisecracks… 

Now I ask you what is a Ground Hog party without a Brand New hot off the press Ground Hog Poem? One of the party attendees was asked to read the poem and he did a very good job … those people from Maine read good. (See below for the poem)

After two hours of togetherness it was over! I am still trying to figure out who stepped on the cake then walked his little feet all over the house.

–Luddd Creef

SAGE OF THE HICKORY COVE GROUND HOG: Second Month, Second Day, Wake Me Up So We Can Play ?

I did not choose to be a ground hog and live on hickory cove i would rather be a kitten and sleep behind a stove

I do not like dogs they bark and make me run its just their way to have some silly doggy fun

I do not like ole coyote or wolf or bear or fox they catch me and eat me and it really hurts a lot

I am a very nice guy who does not kill for meat i only like vegetables and that is what i eat

I am a very good neighbor to the fox and skunk and snake when i move out, my den they do take

I answer to many names depending where i dig the only one i really like is mister whistle pig

The people on hickory cove don’t bother this hoggy cause only two houses have a little doggy

The cat people are best cause they keep ole fur ball in the house- except for the big one who looks like a giant mouse

Miss gladys is a house cat for sure- cause she eats and sleeps and prefers to be secure i never went to high school so i don’t know how to drive but avoiding the highway is the best way to keep a ground hog alive

Now don’t misunderstand me my life is happy and gay i dig and eat in summer and sleep the winter away

I would prefer to sleep in winter splendor but it might spoil the party for george and lynda

By the end of january the ‘cove be dull-we need a party to restore the glee and that is why you dug up me………

If you thought this poem was over make another guess now i have your attention you are really blessed

The saga of the ground hog must never come to an end cause there is a lot more winter ahead for you my friend

Everybody loves me cause i don’t bark or bite but if you reach into my den again -i just might

Fun is fun in february but time to get the grips for the days grow longer and the memory slips -you begin to resemble a ground hog -don’t say why just ask the mirror, he don’t lie

Finally it all ends with a sigh… there is no more to say about this special little guy… he lives in the dirt and loves to dig… sweet and cuddly mister whistle pig …..