Monday, February 2, 2009


The woodchuck lived in a fairly depopulated corner of Northern Ohio. Then one day, he died. In death, this ex-woodchuck liked to hang out alongside a trail that led into a large, old field. One that had not been mowed or plowed in many, many years. Each morning I would walk past the dead marmot on my way into the field. On business. Each afternoon, I would walk back out and note that the marmot had swoll'd up just a tad bit more in the summer heat. The face was puffy and grimaced. The small limbs out-stretched in rigorous pose. The abdomen continued to bloat ominously.

One morning the groundhog was gone. In his place was a ground-hog sized puddle. A black, greasy, fetid smear. The squirrel had not been smelling very good before. Now he smelled terrible.

This was 2001 and Spanish Joe had predicted an early spring. Dunkirk Dave concurred. Punxsutawney Phil, ever the curmudgeon, called for six more weeks of winter. Anyway, though it was already July.

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