Me a Chuck? Wood I?

I enjoy being in the company of animals. Any animals, really.

From the earliest I can remember, I have been this way. It started with a failed attempt at saving an ailing mouse. I was quite young. But, from that point on, I have always wanted to be around those from the animal kingdom.  I like to sit with them.  Quietly.  Any of them.

Here it is though.  I don’t know for certain how life works. Some suggest that our spirit comes back, again and again, and again. We learn a lesson, and then the next time, we come back to learn another. And another.

I can’t argue it, one way or the other. But I wonder if my acclimation toward animals, has something to do with this “other lives” contention. I guess someday, I may find out.

Nevertheless, the other day I met a groundhog. I know most people loathe the groundhog. They say they are destructive, and such. But me? I think they are about the cutest thing going.

They seem happy…. and they have a boatload of nicknames. They will answer to woodchuck, whistle-pig and land-beaver… to name a few. Besides that.. .they are the largest species in the squirrel family. I happen to think squirrels are pretty cute too.

Groundhogs are skilled climbers and swimmers. This helps them to escape less-skilled predators. They are pretty dang smart, too. And sanitary. Groundhog burrows are so complex that each has its own “bathroom” chamber. Now see…. I could have been a Groundhog in another life… just with the knowledge of this factor.

I could go on an on about them. Like the fact that they are true hibernators. Around October… they turn out the lights and go nighty-night. They don’t wake up until early spring. But there is the cool thing. While they are in hibernation…. the groundhog’s temperature drops from 99° F to 40° F. If that weren’t enough…. its heartbeat slows from 80 beats per minute to 5. They live on their accumulated fat from the summer and fall months. That’s some deep sleeping.

Anyway. I like a groundhog, I do. If they were domesticated, I would try to adopt one, I think. I’d call him Simon, I think.

I guess if I got it from the Humane Society, it would be Poundhog. And if it had laundry, I’d be doing a bunch of Hogwash.

No matter. I would love it… just the same.
Just. A girl and her best WhistlePig.



“When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.”
― Charles Baxter


“Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”
― Stanisław Lem, Solaris


“It’s life that matters, nothing but life—the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot