If you are a writer, you should live what you write. This story was just pure fun. It was published in BWG Writers Roundtable in Feb.2013. It will always be one of my favorites!
Papa’s Big Day
Mama always woke early on special occasions. The morning was grey and sullen and she could sense that the humans were coming. They would be here soon. She reached over to tap Papa on the butt with her paw. “Time to wake up, Papa.”
He squirmed away from her touch and snuffled into his fur. “I’m sleeping.”
“You’ve been sleeping since late November.”
He responded with a snore.
She tapped him again, harder. “Wake up, Papa, before they come.”
He sighed but did not open his eyes. “What time is it?’ he grumped.
It was the same every year. If he wasn’t awake and ready, they would reach into the hole to grab him and he would awake with a start, then get angry and bite the fingers that were trying to pull him up and out of the burrow.
But they would just come back, wearing heavy gloves the second time, and he would continue to bite and struggle but they would finally pull him out. But during the fight the dirt in the tunnel would crumble and collapse, dropping into her Momma’s eyes and face and into her fur. Then the cold would blow in through the rest of February and March and keep her awake. Worst of all, that fallen dirt would mat into her fur and it would take all April for her to shake it out.
“Get up, Papa,” she growled, starting to get angry. She poked his butt with her sharp claws. He hated that.
“Hey, that hurts!”
“Then get up.”
“Why don’t they pull Junior out of his hole. He’s just on the other side of the field.”
“They want you. Junior is too small and scrawny. They want your chubby furry body, your plump cheeks and your big fat butt.”
He opened his eyes and smiled at her, “So I still look good to you, huh, after all of these years?”
“You’re perfect, Papa. Everything that a groundhog should be.”
“Can we go back to sleep, then, after they leave?”
“We can snuggle and snore until April.”
“But you’ll wake me in time, right? I’ll be hungry by then.”
Papa was now fully awake. He, too, could hear them coming. A big crowd this year. Cars and trucks being parked on the far side of the field. The voices quiet and hushed as if they wanted to surprise him.
“Don’t forget the treats,” Mama said. “Tuck some into your big pouchy side cheeks and bring them back to me. Promise?”
“I forgot about the treats,” Papa said eagerly.
“Yes, yes, I promise.”
“Smile and look bright. Cheerful and alert. They like that.”
“I forget. Do they want me to see my shadow? Or not?”
Mama shrugged. “Who cares? We’re going to go back to sleep either way.”
A hand came down the hole. Mama could see Papa’s grin. He was enjoying this. He always did. But the mischievous glint in his eye told her that he might just nip the man’s fingers, just for the fun of it. But he relaxed at the last minute and let himself be pulled up.
She let out a deep sigh of relief, not realizing she had been that tense. She was always afraid that he might be hurt if he struggled too hard against them.
“You’re a star, Papa,” she called after him.
“I’ll bring back the treats for you, I promise,” his voice trailed back to her.
She snuggled warmly into a corner. Every year was the same thing. Every year. Ground hog day all over again.