A shadow and a swagger

  I watched a squirrel run over the wind-hardened snow filling the road ditch as it fled from my place for the friendly confines of a neighbor's. It was a dangerous scamper. It was running the gauntlet of possible red-tailed hawks. Raptors enjoy fast food.

  I saw a groundhog later in the month that contains Groundhog’s Day. To the big rodent, it was Groundhog’s Month. It ventured forth cautiously and then scampered back quickly to the safety of its burrow. Maybe it had seen its shadow. According to folklore, if it’s cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on Groundhog’s Day and it doesn’t see its shadow, spring will come early. If it’s sunny and the groundhog sees its shadow and retreats back into its burrow, winter weather will persist for six more weeks. Maybe it is frightened of its shadow? A crow walked the same ground. The groundhog could never match the crow’s swagger. The crow probably saw its shadow and liked it.