MAMMALIAN DAILY EXCLUSIVE
It’s been almost seven weeks since Groundhog Day, when Solange Marmotte, 2014 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring (POPS), emerged from her burrow, saw her shadow, and predicted six more weeks of Winter.[pullquote] It doesn’t feel like a victory or even a vindication. For me, it is bittersweet. — Solange Marmotte, on the accuracy of her 2014 Groundhog Day prediction[/pullquote]
With temperatures hovering well below the freezing mark and Spring expected to arrive a month late, it would appear that Marmotte’s prediction was accurate. In fact, according to the Park Weather Office, it is the most accurate prediction made by a POPS since 2007.
That ought to make Marmotte a happy Mammal, but that is not what our reporter found when he accepted her invitation to join her for lunch yesterday at her burrow.
Marmotte, whose prediction is the subject of a lawsuit, appeared tired and even a bit distraught when she greeted our reporter at the entrance to her burrow.
At 9 years of age, she is one of the oldest Animals to hold the position of POPS, but she is in excellent health and maintains a positive outlook. Still, it is apparent that the lawsuit, in combination with this year’s truncated hibernation period, has taken its toll.
“It’s true,” says Marmotte, as she ushers her guest into the burrow.
“It was an accurate prediction and I never doubted that for a moment,” she asserts.
“Those who said I saw a shadow that was not my own…they don’t know me. I couldn’t make that mistake. I knew what I was seeing and I knew that I had to be honest about it. As everyone knows, there is a lot of pressure on the POPS…I’m not saying that any POPS has succumbed to it, but there is pressure. And, yes, I was feeling it. It had already been a long, hard Winter and we were all hoping that it would end soon. But that was not to be and I saw that as soon as I emerged,” she says.
Marmotte contends she is not completely surprised that her prediction was challenged, but she was taken aback by the vehemence with which the challenge was pursued. And neither the accuracy of the prediction nor the accolades she’s received from the Park Weather Office can make up for the nagging feeling that she’s been betrayed.
“It doesn’t feel like a victory to me…or even a vindication. For me, it is bittersweet,” she says.