Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Groundhog Day in Freiburg?

This morning on the title page of the Badische Zeitung, I read the word Murmeltiertag and wondered if, in addition to Halloween, we had imported the Groundhog Day from the States.

Here in Freiburg, we have no zoo proper but a farm transformed into a vivarium where children and adults may observe domestic and some exotic animals in a natural environment. No groundhogs live there. So what can we do? The chief keeper was interviewed, and he answered that Freiburg’s groundhogs are the water turtles. If they come out and stay for a week, then the frosty period is over. Presently, their pond is frozen; spring is still far away.

In Geneva, it is not an animal but the chestnut tree de la Treille that, with its first leaf, will announce: Spring is icumen in.

Let us agree: any sign will be good. We are all waiting for Spring!

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