The Delaware Indian Legend
The Delaware Indian nation considered the ancestors of Woody Woodchuck honorable and according to original creation beliefs, my forbearers began their lives from mother earth as animals. The Woody Woodchuck groundhog family name came from the Indian legend “Wojack the groundhog”. The woodchuck or groundhog was the tribe’s natural ancestral grandfather as the Delaware’s emerged from myths to hunt and live as men.
When German settlers first arrived in America from Europe in the early 1700’s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day. It’s earliest form came from the Gaelic “Imbolc”, a pagan celebration associated with fertility and weather prophecy. Today, almost everyone in the general public has heard of Groundhog Day while mention of Candlemas Day would generally draw an expression of puzzlement!
February 2nd is known officially as Groundhog Day on which my groundhog cousins will be out of their winter mounds to forecast the winter. If groundhogs see their shadows they retreat to their burrows and the event foretells six more weeks of winter. In other words, one should hope that the day will be dark and overcast so groundhogs will not see their shadows! This tradition, which has no scientific evidence or basis, is pagan in its origin.
Groundhogs Are Marmots
My grandparents were rodents and members of the “Sciuridae” family. We all belong to a group of ground squirrels known as Marmots. My closest relatives living in the central and western parts of the United States are prairie dog cousins to the groundhog.
Marmots have small fur-covered ears, short stocky legs, and strong claws for digging. Their long, thick fur is slightly course, and may be yellowish brown, reddish-brown, or a mixture of gray and white. Marmots are found north of Mexico and in Eurasia, from the European Alps throughout North Central Asia, the Himalayas and North Eastern Siberia. All live in burrows that they have excavated.
When alarmed, Marmots emit a sharp piercing whistle and scurry to their burrows if danger persists. Some North American Marmots are gregarious and social, but others, including my prairie dog family, are more solitary.
All Hibernate In Winter
All hibernate in winter, although some may emerge from their burrows for short periods of time during mild winter days.Cordially,
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”
Prairie Dog Is Cousin To The Groundhog