Americans frequently make biting comments about politicians. But Jimmy the Groundhog actually bit one.
That hostile action occurred Monday during the 67th Groundhog Day Celebration in Sun Prairie, Wis. As Madison’s WISC-TV reported, after Jimmy arrived at the festivities in a limousine escorted by town firefighters, he was placed in a burrow before coming out to deliver his annual indicator of when spring would be sprung.
The TV station reported on its website: “Just as Sun Prairie Mayor Jonathan Freund leaned in to hear Jimmy’s prediction, he was bitten on the ear by the groundhog. He then declared Jimmy didn’t see his shadow and there would be an early spring.”
Yet Jerry Hahn, one of the cranky rodent’s “caretakers,” said the mayor “may have misinterpreted Jimmy.”
Three factors supporting that suspicion of an erroneous mayoral reading of Jimmy’s reaction:
1) This was Mayor Freund’s first official attempt to assess what a groundhog’s conduct portends on the weather front, 2) being bitten on the ear could rattle even the most experienced groundhog-conduct interpreter, 3) WISC reported that conditions were sunny when Jimmy made his move, meaning his retreat back into the burrow was prompted by the sight of his shadow, signaling his instinctive anticipation of six more weeks of winter.
Still, who’s counting on a groundhog to accurately prognosticate climate change after most human experts recently — and wrongly — warned that a devastating winter storm would bury New York City in snow and ice?
But it might be a mistake to underestimate Jimmy.
The mayor did, and look what happened.