If you missed Kim Fundingsland’s amusing pondering “No groundhog for Minot” Friday, pick the issue back up or check it out online. Kim – awarded in 2017 by the North Dakota Newspaper Association for a humor column – takes on Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day and suggested that we in Minot need our own psychic rodent. The only problem? Our region doesn’t have any! We have prairie dogs, but there is not a Prairie Dog Day and it isn’t the same critter anyway. Well Kim heard from readers who agreed that the community needs to find, support and create a whole new celebration around a local groundhog – or at least that it’s good in theory.
“While it does smack a bit of animal (or even people) cruelty – dragging a sleeping victim out of his quiet, warm, cozy den into the frigid Minot air (without so much as a hot cup of coffee), into the chaotic cacophony of a horde of raucous revelers creating an unconscionable amount of noise not conducive to a gentle awakening – the idea has some merit,” wrote Frances.
“Merit for what good purpose sadly escapes me.”
“However, should you carry on with this Quixotic quest for more Minot magic, we wish you full speed ahead. And if you are the courageous one destined to brave the claws and teeth of a grumpy rodent, underwhelmed at the prospect of immense popularity at the expense of a good winter’s sleep, we advise thick leather gloves – and remind you to make sure your shots are all up to date.”
“Yes! Bring on Magic City Melvin!” argued email writer Deb. “We do indeed have woodchucks in this area, at Long Lake for certain. I have seen them a couple of times there.
“I’d be in the crowd with a cup of hot coffee in hand, ready to welcome this little furry prognosticator! What fun to have our own local weather hero! ND residents certainly know the realities of winter here, but we are also an optimistic population that can look at the hopeful side (no matter how misguided), whether he sees his shadow or not!”
There are worse causes. If anyone has an idea how to get the needed support for our good friends at Roosevelt Park Zoo to adopt an honest-to-goodness groundhog around which we can launch a new holiday, drop Kim a line at email@example.com.