Archive for the ‘View From the Burrow’ Category
The men say these are laboring days which sounds to me like they expect me to do something. Already I’ve climbed some rocks to sit in the sun and ran away from what I thought was a wasp but was really a bumbly-bee and dug some ground out of my burrow (because the cold time is coming and the deeper the burrow, the better) and then I took a nap. So with all that I think I’ve done a lot of laboring but if these are the days to labor maybe I should do more. Even though the men are just sitting around and don’t seem to be doing much of anything. Maybe laboring days means something different to them.
It’s been so hot I don’t know what to think. Even the windy air that usually helps keep things cool hasn’t been winding and that means it’s really, really hot. So marmots (and some other animals too that live underground like thin-tail squirrels and skunks and mices and even sometimes dangerous animals like ferrets and martens – which are NO relation to marmots) spend all day in our burrows, where it’s cool and dry and if you plan ahead even a snack. I’ve heard the men call this ‘estay-nation’ but to us it’s just taking a nap to stay out of the heat. In the cold times we go underground and nap too, this time to stay warm (and there’s not much outside to eat, anyway), and the men call this ‘hyper-vacation’ or something like that but those are just fancy men-words that they think make them look smarter than marmots. If men were that smart, they’d keep out of the heat.
Note: We think Michonne is talking about ‘estivation‘, which is animals spending more time underground – sometimes days or weeks – to keep out of the summer heat; and ‘hibernation‘, which is similar, but a more deeper and longer sleep which even lowers body temperature and heart rate, occurring during the winter.
Skytop, Triefur, and Henry, who live in this burrow, were scheduled for a photo but unable to attend. Because they are asleep.
I don’t understand how the gound-hoggies can tell the wind and the snow and the cold-time what to do. The men say (but I think they’re making it up), that when a ground-hoggie sees his shadow that means the cold-time will continue; but if there’s no shadow then flower-time will come early. I’ve never actually met a ground-hoggie, but whenever I see my shadow nothing changes. And if I look for my shadow underground I never see it at all and flower-time still comes.
I’m not even sure what a ground-hoggie is, I’ve never met one, but the men say they’re a lot like a marmot, almost the exact same they say, just living in different areas. Maybe someplace that’s closer to wind and snow and rain, I’d think. The men even brought a pretend hoggie I could look at, but I didn’t see the resemblance. Must be in the way you look at it.
Sometimes they are called ‘Ground-pig’ or ‘Whistler’ or ‘Wood digger’ or ‘Monax’ or ‘Thickwood badger’ (which makes no sense at all), and even ‘Woodsock’ or something like that, which must be very confusing because now they don’t have to worry just about their shadow and where it might be, but with all those names they won’t even know if someone is talking to them or someone else. I would answer to ‘Whistler’ because it’s very musical and pretty, too, but some of those other names start to sound insulting. I’d rather be called ‘hay you’. Particularly if I was being called to really eat, hay.
So if the hoggies see their shadows or not – or maybe just one ground-hoggie, I don’t know how many have to see their shadows for it to work – I”ll be happy whenever flower-time comes. If it takes a little longer I won’t mind, I’ll just be dozing in my nice warm burrow dreaming about flower-time. It’s not like I’m going to go hog wild.
“Doesn’t look like anyone I’ve ever seen”.
The men say this is ‘labor day’ and it’s really three days. I don’t know what a laborday is, but it sounds like a lot of work, with all the laboring and all, so maybe the men need three days to do all the work that would usually take one day. Groundhoggy day is only one day (but I’ve heard most of it is in the morning), and marmots don’t have any day at all so it’s not fair that laboringday has three days. It still sounds like a lot of work to me.
Laboringday or not, it’s too hot to do work and if the men knew better they would rest and not work, no matter what day it is. I’m going to rest in the shade and if anyone else wants to work too bad for them. Why men want to work when it’s hot isn’t for me to know, but men do a lot of things that don’t make sense. Some men think the only thing marmots do is rest, when they see us sitting on rocks in the sun or making smallish burrows biggish or biggish burrows smallish or eating flowers that just happen to be there and no one else is eating them, but all that’s hard work. For a marmot. – Michonne
This marmot – no relation, that I know of – might look like she’s resting, but really she’s practicing the ‘think like a rock and you will be the rock’ concentration all marmots must learn. It’s harder than it looks.
The men say this is the first week of Spring. I don’t know what a ‘spring’ is, but if it has anything to do with flower-time (and I think it does, somehow) then I say “Hoo-ray!!”. And it must have something to do with flower-time, because just overnight there are flowers here and there and everywhere. Not all the best flowers, yet – it takes more time for some of them to wake up – but any flower you can eat is a good flower (except those bitter tree-grass flowers that nobody likes to eat and even the busy-bees would rather go somewhere else. Phooey).
Maybe ‘spring’ means some of the animals are running and jumping and springing into the air for no real reason other than it’s something do to. Squirrels are really good at this and if you’re not careful they can jump right into you which scares the squirrel so I don’t know why they do it. Rabbits and deers and even fuzzy-whites spring all the time so I don’t think springing-time makes any difference to them. When they’re on the ground little singing birds spring all the time (I don’t even think they know how to walk), but I won’t stay around to see if a hawk or crow springs. Any bird that doesn’t sing you have to watch out for. Marmots run and jump but we don’t do any springing, we’re more ground-place animals. Bears would never spring, they’re too big. And I don’t think men do any springing, either, unless maybe when they’re young pups and have more energy and less sense.
So if you see any squirrels or marmots or rabbits or singing-birds or bears or even men during this springing time, say ‘Happy Spring’ to them. Just don’t interrupt them if they’re looking for fresh flowers to eat.
– – – Michonne
That groundhoggy that looks for his shadow every year found it this time, and somehow that means the cold-time lasts longer than it would if he didn’t find his shadow. This is the story the men tell and it doesn’t make any sense to me. A shadow is always following me around. Everyone has one, or sometimes even more than one, but not very often. Sometimes it’s big, and other times it’s little, but it’s always there. Except at night when it goes to sleep, just like I do. Then it’s back in the morning. I don’t think there’s anything different about the ground-hoggies shadows. But I’ve never met a groundhoggy so I don’t know.
“You’re MY shadow!” “No, you’re MY shadow.”
The men are all saying “Happy New Year” and “Happy Holidays” and “Good tidings to you”. Well I only heard the ‘Good tidings’ thing once, but someone definitely said it.
I’m not certain what this ‘New Year’ is, but yesterday seems more-or-less-the same as today, to me. Of course I know it’s the cold time now (when marmots do a lot of sleeping); and then comes flower-time (when marmots do a lot of eating. And look for new adventures). After flower-time is when the sun is high in the sky and it’s nice just to sit on a warm rock and let the days drift along. And eat flowers. After that, the cold times come back. So this ‘New Year’ must be important to the men, but for marmots and other animals every new day begins as a part of yesterday, and continues into tomorrow.
So I don’t just say ‘Happy New Year’ to everyone – I say ‘Happy Day’! And then I look for good food to eat, and maybe an adventure or two. And I think you should do the same.