Groundhogs predict how many weeks are left in winter. The tradition was brought to North America from Germany. On an old religious holiday called "Candlemas Day," the Germans paid attention to the badger. Candlemas Day was the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. If the badger saw its shadow, it meant a "second winter" was coming.
Because badgers aren't native to eastern North America, a Groundhog is used instead.
Everyone in America knows ‘Punxsutawney Phil’, the Pennsylvanian groundhog who famously predicts winter’s remaining days.
But Phil isn’t the only groundhog tasked with this monumental job. In one Canadian town, its left up to a groundhog known as Fred, Fred la Marmotte, to be precise.
Fred, who was only nine years old was found dead before he could declare whether or not he had seen his shadow. Though the event went on without poor, dead Fred can we now really know what his prediction may have been?
Death seems like a pretty serious circumstance, and as Fred was the Canadian Oracle of winter, it seems possible Fred could have been predicting something dire.
Though in the past Groundhogs only predicted winter’s grip up to six weeks into the future, Fred’s death may be predicting such a massively bad continuation of winter that poor old Fred’s heart and soul just couldn’t take it.
Was Fred la Marmotte predicting a 'Winter' like one might see on Game of Thrones?
As the organizer of the Canadian event said at the time of discovering Fred’s little cold, lifeless body, "In life, the only thing that's certain is that nothing is certain.”
Happy Trails, Fred!
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