by Thamanda Crompson
Fauxhasset Paroder Staff Reporter
At dawn on the last day of winter, the sky churned forth a great blizzard, the likes of which made last month’s 12 feet of snow look like a cute little Christmas snow globe.
It blustered all day and all night. Then, at dawn on the first day of spring, Fauxsutawney Fil appeared.
Fil rode into town on a wooden sleigh drawn by nine of the Womp’s 50-antlered mutant deer. The foremost had a 3,000-lumen LED nose compliant with the Green and Renewable Energy Group’s sustainability guidelines for the town.
The deer returned Fil to the Hallowed Burrow from whence he’d emerged on Groundhog Day. The wrathful raccoon then took to his soapbox, guarded by his squadron of deer so that the Local and Regional Animal Whisperers (LAW and RAW) couldn’t reach him.
“This is just sad,” said Fil, surveying the paltry hundred spectators who had bundled up and gathered on the Common to hear him speak. The rest were hunkered down inside, praying (as would soon become clear) to entirely the wrong god.
“Nobody likes winter,” said Fil. “Do you like winter? I don’t like winter. So I worked out a deal with your leaders to keep winter from ever bothering you nice folks again.”
“That’s what they asked for. That’s what you all asked for,” said Fil. “But instead of thanks, what do I get? Hunted, that’s what I get. And the whole town out looking for that impostor, Punxsutawney Phil, without a word of thanks for me! Sad. Don’t you know who I am?”
No one, in fact, knew who he was.
“Sad,” Fil repeated.
The large raccoon claimed to be the reincarnation of the original “Groundhog,” a Roman hedgehog by the name of Romulus Augustus Legolas Petrificus-totalus Hedgehogius (May He Rest In… ah, well, scratch that last part now, I guess) – or, for short, RALPH.
Like most modern holidays, Fil recounted, Groundhog Day started out as a religious tradition. All the ceremonies, festivals, and ritual sacrifices were made on RALPH’s account – and he, a god, showed mercy by ushering in the spring on years when the people’s efforts pleased him.
Of course, any history book will tell you that much. The real question is whether Fil truly is RALPH, or whether the raccoon is not only mad, but also mad. And the question’s not just rhetorical. Fauxhasset will have to decide what it believes, and soon, before the whole town is buried in snow.
“I tried to warn you all with that storm last month,” Fil said. “I’ve been very reasonable. From day one, all I’ve asked of you was repentance. But I guess that was too much. Well, no more Mr. Nice Guy. This time the snow’s not stopping until every last one of you stands before me and personally repents.”
Look for more on this issue in an upcoming edition of the Paroder. And please remember to tip your carrier squirrel; between mail delivery and snow cleanup, those little guys are working overtime.