A Valentine for groundhogs and presidents

By George Wollin

February 12, 2014

It was February, 1809 and Mrs. Thomas Lincoln was about to give birth to a son. She wanted him to be born on February 14, and, then, name him, “Valentine.” But, he was born on February 12, and was, then, named Abraham. Once again, Mother Nature had her way.

Now, I don’t profess to be an authority on groundhogs. I see them eating and playing beside the roads and I see the slow ones that didn’t make it across the road. And, I am familiar with Phil from Pennsylvania. But, now, for the story behind the story.

We all know about young Geroge Washington cutting down the cherry tree. When his father questioned George about it, he told the truth and that “yes,” he had cut the tree down. But that was not what made Mr. Washington the most upset. For you see, the family had a pet pig named “Dinner.” And they had no intention of killing it for food. They loved it and petted it. But, as fate would have it, the tree when George felled it, fell right on Dinner and killed it. Dead. In fact, being a large tree, it pounded Dinner right into the ground.

From then on, Dinner was thought of as a groundhog, rather than just a pig. And, like George Washington, I can only tell the truth.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

George Wollin is an Elkin resident.