Letter to a Groundhog

punxsutawney-phil Dear Punxsutawney Phil,

You’re sort of cute. For a groundhog.  Your little paws and twitching whiskers and chubby cheeks have captivated Americans all the way from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to the west coast.  But it’s not your cuteness that matters to us.  Not really.  It’s your seasonal forecasting ability.  No other member of the animal kingdom claims your unique talent. 

You have carried out your duty with dignity over the years, reacting in one of two ways on the day that bears your name.  Seeing your shadow means six more weeks of winter.  No shadow in sight is a sure bet that spring is coming soon.  We place a lot of stock in you, Phil.

But Phil, let’s get real.  Today, you made the statement, in so many words, that we’ve got more winter ahead of us.  And to that, I say…

Really?  REALLY?!?

No, I don’t think so.

Why, you may ask?  Why do I doubt your rodent wisdom, O great one?  Because it’s already spring.  Yes!  It’s already spring in the state of Alabama, where daffodils are prematurely peeking through their winter blanket of leaves, and where the temperature is an unseasonably warm 70 degrees, and where wicked tornadoes have already ripped through several of our beloved communities way ahead of schedule.  If we don’t get a real winter here soon to kill all the bugs, the mosquitoes are going to show up with a vengeance this summer.

Do you think you might be slipping a little bit, Phil?  You might need to ask your upper management team for some career enrichment courses.  You know, the kind that sharpen your skills and keep you marketable.  Otherwise, I fear that your credibility as a seasonal forecaster will be lost forever.  Today was a risky and potentially career-destroying move.

I hope you know what you’re doing.  I hope you prove us all wrong, and we get a sufficient cold snap here soon.  Good luck in your future endeavors, Phil.  And we’ll give you another chance next February.  Just don’t mess up.

Warmly (REALLY warmly),

Jennifer Farris

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