Yesterday, Pompton Paul saw his shadow. Our neighborhood groundhog doesn’t predict the length of winter or the coming of spring, though. His job is to predict the length and severity of election season.
We showed him pictures of all the candidates, including Obama, whose portrait our goodly groundhog promptly skittered away from. Looking over all the GOP candidates photographs, he couldn’t pick one that suited him or that he thought was eminently electable.
Nosing Ron Paul’s photo, Pompton Paul immediately began spinning around in circles, never a good sign with any animal. He selected a weed from the riverbank, masticated it for awhile, then spat it on Ron Paul’s picture and turned his back on it with a woolly harumph.
Next, he went to Newt Gingrich’s photo. After snuffing at Newt, he wrinkled his nose and began digging a hole. Then with one dainty claw, he pulled the picture into the hole and buried it.
He sat gazing thoughtfully at Mitt Romney’s photo for awhile. He cocked his head from side to side and rubbed it with the side of his muzzle, a sign of ownership by animals. He was about to continue on to the last photo when suddenly, Pompton Paul returned to Romney’s photo. He gently picked it up, so as not to tear it, and placed it by Obama’s picture, which was over by the garbage dump.
Finally, he came back to Rick Santorum’s photo. This he played with for awhile, pushing it with his nose and turning it over and over, sniffing the ground on which it laid, and then re-examining it. Then he sat for awhile in front of, sitting up on his hind legs. We shrugged. What to do? Pompton Paul got off his haunches, and went over to the river bank. He scrambled among the underbrush and rooted out a mouthful of acorns, which he placed in front of Santorum’s photo.
We told Pompton Paul that we were sure Santorum appreciated the donation, but it probably wouldn’t be enough. Pompton Paul sighed and returned to his den in the thicket on the other side of the parking lot.
It was going to be a short winter, maybe, but a very long spring and summer.