A heart-shaped terracotta dish bearing the good wishes of thousands of Animals and hung on the eastern wall helped make yesterday’s send-off even more meaningful for The Park’s hibernating community.
“It was a beautiful gesture and we appreciated the fact that they hung it in the east, where the sun rises and, hopefully, we will too in the Spring,” said Oliver S.P. Franklin, head of the Confederation of Ground Squirrels.
The sun did, in fact, manage to peek through the clouds for a few minutes yesterday, just as Walmond Murmeltier, the newly-elected 2015 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring (POPS), waved to the crowd and began the descent into his burrow.
While some of The Park’s well-known hibernators were gracious when Animals snapped photos and called out to them, others were more sanguine, demonstrating the gravity of the occasion.
“This is usually more of a solemn event and one that makes solitudinarians of us all,” said Hieronymous Hedgehog, as he headed for his own burrow.
Meanwhile, Eduarda Teresinha Coelho, whose election as 2015 Keeper of the Nut was celebrated four days ago, expressed her best wishes, on behalf of all non-hibernators, for a happy and safe hibernation.
“May you all rejoin us in the Spring,” she said, as she extemporaneously reiterated her oath “to keep this nut from harm and to preserve it intact” until the hibernators return.