Groundhogs Gone Wild

Groundhogs Gone Wild

A Story by illiterally

The story of the hipster undergroundhog who deceived the world in exchange for billions.

Another groundhog day beginning just like those before it, February 2nd with a hint of December that never seems to go away. All around America, seasoned scientists are setting up shop near the burrows of groundhogs, armed with pens, paper, and a cloth to wipe the condensation from their glasses to ensure the observation of this fortune telling rodent on its special day. If the creature emerges from its hole and casts no shadow, spring is surely around the corner. But, if skies are clear and the groundhog pops up to witness the scientists reeking of sweat and sunscreen, winter continues its lease of the land another six weeks. 

Although the other scientists in the lab laughed at Hershel for his independent interest in the day, he assured them of its importance. "I admit that maybe this experiment is a little underground," Hershel would say, "but I didn't smuggle this groundhog all the way back from Australia to continue blinding guessing when Spring will arrive." 

"This is a stolen international groundhog?" piped up one of the scientists from the far end of the semicircle of lawn chairs they had formed around the animal hole in Hershel's backyard. "Sure is," replied Hershel, "they cast the best shadows." This oddly seemed to be enough to satisfy the scientists, as they continued observing quietly. 

Sure enough, shortly after daybreak the groundhog from down under popped its head out of the hole to assess the situation. Seeming not to notice the scientists like a lady at the bar, it emerged fully from its home, casting a dark groundhog shaped caricature on the earth below it. "Winter stays," the scientists agreed in unison as they packed up their chairs to go back to the lab, still wondering why they all had to partake in such a simple observation. 

Well, their wonder soon turned to surprise about an hour later when the scientists arrived back at the lab. While they had been in Hershel's backyard, the rest of the world had discovered that the entire planets population of groundhog refused to surface that day, as if the union had gone on strike. Hershel's groundhog, due to its recent domestication, was the only hog outside of the union, and the only one to surface. This meant that Hershel and his team of scientists were the only people to know for sure which seasons weather was to be expected in the coming months. Information like this was usually passed along freely, but never before had one group held such a monopoly over rare knowledge like this. 

Gardeners wanted to know when to plant their seeds, and clothing stores didn't want to put out their next seasons line prematurely, but nobody knew when to expect spring! Nobody except Hershel and his team of scientists, and although they were scientists, they weren't afraid to conduct a little bit of business too. The team put their heads together and decided to create a Kickstarter account. They told the world they would only share their secret information if a billion dollars could be raised. It seemed like a lot, but after only an afternoon the world had come up with all of the money the team requested. Most of it was donated by gardeners, landscapers, and animal breeders, dependent on the information to ensure a healthy litter of flowers or crop of puppies, whichever the case may be, for the upcoming harvest. The rest was donated by Vancouver residents in hopes of having something to talk about the following day at work. 

Hershel announced to the world that his groundhog had emerged to see it's own shadow, and that winter would be here to stay a little bit longer, and although it wasn't what everyone had hoped for, they accepted it and moved on. A few weeks passed, and every day since the 2nd seemed to be a little nicer than the day before. It already looked and smelled like spring, even the birds were chirping in a tone of lust. After six weeks, it was clear that winter had already left before February started, and that Hershel was not the least bit correct in saying otherwise. Those that had donated to him demanded their money back, and the rest just wanted justice, they wanted Hershel dead, six feet under, never able to cast or interpret a shadow ever again. 

Eventually the mob got what they desired, and Hershel was sentenced to death for lying to the world for profit. "That's our job" said the government, as they ironically buried his lifeless body in the same hole from which his fate emerged. 

It was determined years later that Hershel had lied by accident, and that he had only forgot to take one thing into consideration when determining his conclusion. Everything is backwards in Australia. 

The groundhog union eventually disbanded after hearing all the trouble they had caused, and agreed to continue only being noticed one day a year in return for the groundhog that Hershel had stolen from the Australian clan. Peace was restored and everyone lived happily ever after. 

© 2014 illiterally

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Added on May 21, 2014
Last Updated on May 21, 2014
Tags: Groundhog, Day, Hershel, Justice, Blackmail, Australia



Vancouver, North, Canada

Exploring the boundaries of the alphabet from the comfort of my bed more..