The mayor of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Jonathan Freund, will likely remember this Groundhog Day for some time. During the annual ceremony on Monday morning, February 2nd, Freund said Jimmy the Groundhog whispered his forecast to him and that he said there would be an early spring. But maybe the mayor misheard, because Jimmy wasn’t all that happy about being held near the mayor and took a bite of the mayor’s ear.
Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow. If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole. If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.