A Conversation With A Groundhog

Let me speak in understatements and explain to you the life of a groundhog. A groundhog’s life is harder than eating two hundred trees in one hour. It is more strenuous than running around Earth two hundred times in one hour. It requires greater strength than putting the moon into a milk bottle. It is like the life of a gopher but two hundred times harder. It is more trying than putting Mars inside Earth twice in one hour.

My happiest memory from growing up is when an eagle dropped from an overcast sky and snatched up three of my siblings, its knife-like talons shearing off legs and paws and an ear and leaving them behind in a great gust of rancid eagle scent.

My favorite dinner is a stick. Once while I was eating a stick I was shot in the face with a BB.

My mate fell through the ice in the lake last winter and was under water for several minutes. When I dragged her out she was still alive but she lost her sense of hearing. In the summer she was surprised by a farmer’s thresher, its knife-like talons flinging her everywhere in the evening air. I did not need to tell our cubs because they had died the previous year in a mudslide. Still, I went to the hill where they were lost and gazed into the weeds wondering what I would have told them if they were still here.

I found a child’s backpack. It is torn and has blood on it, but the blood is long dry and I sleep inside the big pocket.

I am most afraid of dogs.