The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

March 6, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, March 6, 2014

Groundhog predicts economy and weather

Folks, we all know Mr. Groundhog is a great weatherman and one we can depend on to give us a true picture of our weather to come. Most will agree the ol’ boy may have a wee bit of politician’s blood in his veins and that is what causes him to be so honest and trustworthy.

But few seem to realize what a great predictor of the economy he is. Allow me to explain.

The ol’ boy “Mr. Groundhog” always digs his den according to the severity of the economy. In other words, if the economy is good, he won’t dig his den very deep; but when the economy is bad, he must dig his den accordingly or perish.

I was born and raised on a small farm and would often tag along with the older ones, on the annual groundhog digs they took in the fall.

We took a mattock, shovel, measuring stick, pencil, paper and a “groundhog chart,” and began digging those groundhogs out of their dens.

Each time we dug one out — it really upsets one when you do this — we would measure how far into the ground he had dug his den, then make note on the paper we had. After digging out and measuring three or four dens, we would average the depths and refer to the groundhog chart to determine how good or bad the economy of the following year would be. Believe me, he’s as good at predicting the economy as he is at predicting the weather!

Surely, he knows the hungrier a man is, the deeper he’s willing to dig to get him and have him as a food source and, therefore if he wants to live, the depth of his den must depend on the economy.

He must dig his den 1 foot deeper than a hungry fellow is willing to dig to get him and that motivates him to be the great economist that he is.

If he digs his den 3 feet deep, the economy will stay the same; 5 feet, things will be a little worse; but if he goes straight down 8 or 10 feet, and under a rock about one-half the size of Mt. Rushmore, you had better hurry home, lock the hen house door and secure all the farm animals, because like the ol’ boy said, “things are fixin’ to get bad.” However, if you find him at his den, lying in the sun, wearing his shades and snoozing, things are going to be just fine.

Bob Lilly

Hinton

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