Me and My Shadow: A Groundhog’s Memoirs
Nigel T. Groundhog
Birch Bark Books, 200 pages
‘Tis the season, as they say, and all manner of books about Groundhogs have been popping up all over The Park. While few of them are worthy of a second reading, this volume rates among the finest of Animal memoirs.
Although he tries to portray himself as “Everygroundhog,” the author harkens from a family of some stature. Late in life, his maternal great-grandfather was selected as The Park’s Prognosticator of Spring and, more recently, the author’s father served two terms as a Park Archon before succumbing to old age.
This is not a book about family pride, though. It is a deeply-felt and honestly-written portrayal of the trials of Animal migration, of the pain and loneliness of specism, and of the exquisite joy of success and acceptance after many years of frustration. In a Beaverlike fashion, the author gnaws away at Groundhog stereotypes and lays bare for us the burden that is borne by the prescient mammal.
Amid the recent controversies surrounding Groundhog selection in The Park, the one bright spot has been the integrity of our resident Groundhogs. When called upon to serve, they have accepted their role with humility and have risen to the occasion with aplomb. This book is a testament to the fact that they are no exception within their species. And, happily, this dignified and trustworthy group has been well-served both by this book and by its noble author.
© The Mammalian Daily
Reprinted with permission from Issue 113, Winter 25 AZ