(scene opens over dish washing)
Beta: Mom, explain this groundhog thing to me.
Me: On the second of February, the groundhog comes out and it’s bright and sunny, he sees his shadow, gets scared, goes back to his burrow and its six more weeks of winter. If he comes out and it’s cloudy, no shadow and he just tools around doing his groundhogy thing, then winter is over and spring has arrived.
Beta: That doesn’t make sense. It should be the opposite. If the sun is out and the weather is nice, winter is over and winter is still here if it’s cold and cloudy.
Me: (mental sigh as she tries to find the words) Groundhog Day is a…poetic conceit? The cultural game we all play and pretend to go along with. No one actually believes it, we just go along with it.
Beta: But what happens if the groundhog says it’s spring?
Me: He never does! It is always six more week of winter because it is six weeks from February 2nd to the March 21st, which is when spring starts.
Beta: Then why do we do it?
Me: (starts up lecture of the cultural forerunners, Imbolc and Candlemas, then realize that no one is listening to her) Because humans are silly.
Beta: Oh, that makes sense.