It's groundhog day, and people in the historical town gather to hear a much-awaited prediction from a rodent.
The poor groundhog sleeps in hibernation with his wife and children. "Get ready at 7 am", they say.
"There will be media and anxious people at the ceremony. Not to forget, thousands will watch it live on television," they say.
"You have to play your act and sound decent. It'd be better if you didn't see your shadow. Man who likes an extended winter!" they say.
"Oh, Lord! First, you reward me with the soul of the rodent and award me with a body of a groundhog! Why the groundhog! You see, how difficult it is to find a decent wife and raise those nasty kids!
Then I have to shuffle around to dig in deep to create a home for the rainy days of fall and then bury myself in the snow feet below the ground. Just when I thought I was settled in and the warmth of the burrow allowed me to rest. These people honk at my door. You see, I'm not a weatherman. I'm just a rodent", says Mr. Groundhog.
The stress and anxiety to face the crowds keep the groundhog awake the whole night. "Why can't I sleep? Did I eat anything wrong last night? Maybe too much junk!"
As expected, in the morning, people gather to watch as they every year. They are dressed in coats, toques, mitts, and heavy winter boots.
"Don't they have anything else to do at home? It's not even Sunday. They must have to go to work. Don't their children attend school?" says Mr. Groundhog.
"Honey, chill! You do not need to worry. You very well know, it's not gonna take forever. They treat you as a celebrity.
Come on! You're the man of the hour! Just shine your coat, boost your pride and go. Oh, and don't forget to shut the door behind you. I like to sleep late", says his wife.
"And yeah, there's a knock on the door. They're here. Go on", his wife cuddles her body and covers herself in the dirt.
"Mom, this one day haunts me for the whole year! Do I have to do the same job as dad when I grow up? I better move to Alabama with my uncle. How about I move to Europe or even Africa? At least away from North America.
I guess they don't have this ritual in there. Do they? Huh! I hate this, mom!" cries Mr. Groundhog's son.
"Come on. You're ready, my fella? The crowds are hooting for you already. You are our lone star today", says the mayor.
"Huh, for 364 days, you guys don't know what groundhog is, and suddenly I'm a star. You, humans, are so hypocritical", says Mr. Groundhog.
"I better set these people right and give a wrong prediction, so they never bother me or any of my kins again in the future. It's time I set them right". Mr. Groundhog sighs.
At the stage, important people dress in their best and take on the mic to describe the hundred-year-old tradition.
"It's all my great-great grandfather's fault. Why did he have to do that? Look at their passion; they seem so alive. Ah, this wind is chilling my bones. If by any chance, they invite me here next year. I better ask for extra mitts and coats", says Mr. Groundhog.
The newsreader on the mic, "Hello, everyone! I'm reporting live from the historical town to announce the biggest announcement of the year. The winter prediction is about to reveal in a few minutes".
"Ah, thank you for letting me snore for another minute and a half. They covered me in straw; I guess they do want me not to see my shadow. Ugh, Covid has made me so lazy. I watched the Netflix show until 2 am. The thriller kept me intrigued, and I binge-watched the entire series last night with my wife. Although, I kept reminding her that I had to get up early. I wish she had listened to me.
Compared to my great great grandfather, who had nothing to do so, he'd come out and look for his shadow. He for sure must have thought he could understand the weather. Could someone tell me who was the Dutchman who observed him and announced that the groundhog should be the future weatherman?" says Mr. Groundhog.
"Here comes Mr. Groundhog! Sir, would you please finish your task so we can all go home" whispers the mayor! "My wife made the hot chocolate with my favorite Belgian waffles. I swear, I didn't want to come today. It's so cold, but I had to".
"Ok, ok, I do you a favor. Here you go! And Ah it's so cloudy. I told you I wouldn't see my shadow. I'm sneaking back in the box. Hasta la Vista, Mr. Mayor", says Mr. Groundhog.
"It's only six weeks of winter, and Mr. Groundhog has announced the early spring," announces the mayor.
"Hello from the weather channel, reporting live! Mr. Groundhog has announced the arrival of early spring," says the weather girl.
"Cameraman, just get back in the car. We're done here now. I swear, it's so cold, I'm freezing to death. I had to wake up early and do my hair and makeup for only this moment. Get a hot French Vanilla on the way, would ya?"
"Alright, see ya all. I'm going back to my burrow and never disturb me ever", says Mr. Groundhog.