Amid roaring applause and loud shouts of support from the crowd, Bastiaan Groundhog accepted the POPS baton from Ulrica Gilda Groundhog, 2012 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring, at a moving ceremony held last night at the Ancient Open-Air Theatre.
After a gruelling night of debating his fellow candidates on Tuesday, Bastiaan retired to his burrow, where he remained for the entirety of election day. His only trip out was a quick one to the polls, where he cast his vote, presumably for himself.
“It’s a secret ballot, so I won’t say who I voted for,” the Groundhog said, flashing a knowing smile, as he spoke to reporters yesterday outside his burrow. “But I will say that I feel honoured to have been chosen 2013 POPS and I am humbled by the trust my fellow Park residents have put in me. I promise to do my very best on February 2.”
Outside the theatre, however, as the crowd gathered for a look at their new prognosticator, some Animals looked glum and disappointed.
“Same old, same old,” mumbled Sorcha Skunk, referring to the fact that no Animal except for a Groundhog has ever won the POPS election.
Others seemed to agree.
“You have to remember,” said Alexandre Lemure, “that it’s called ‘Groundhog Day’. It’s no surprise that they have the upper hand in the elections.”
Others, though, seemed less disgruntled and more hopeful.
“Last year was the first year that any Animal other than a Groundhog ran,” said Bertrand Macaw. “It’s small steps, but we’ll get there, eventually. In the meantime, we should support Bastiaan. We don’t want him to feel negative energy going into hibernation,” he said.