While Punxsutawney Phil was predicting an extension of the freezing hell of winter in Pennsylvania, the avatar of our local wildlife cult, Staten Island Chuck — known as “Charles G. Hogg” to schismatics — made his appearance to the natives of the isolated island community this morning.
The local rite differs from the Pennsylvanians’ in that the groundhog and the tribe leader battle, with the chief representing the forces of spring and the groundhog representing those of winter. Last year the groundhog won, biting Chieftain Michael Bloomberg, and the natives retreated to their cabins for six weeks. This year Bloomberg manfully wrestled the groundhog without injury, which the natives believe will hasten spring, though the current temperature in Staten Island is well below freezing.
The natives will celebrate in the manner traditional to their village: ritual consumption of mead. Photo (cc) abbamouse.