Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, January 31, 1930, Image 3

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    ‘Bellefonte, Pa., January 31, 1980.
It’s almost time now for a little
animal to decide for us if we are to
bave six weeks more of winter or
if spring is near at hand. For Feb-
ruary. 2 is Groundhog day and, ac-
cording to a belief held by many
persons, what Mr. Arctomys - Monax
(that’s what the scientists call the
groundhog) does on that day will be
prophetic of weather conditions for
the next six weeks, If Mr, Monax
comes out of his hole on that day
and sees his shadow, then he will re-
turn to his hole and six weeks more
of winter must be endured. If, how-
ever, the sun doesn’t shine that day,
we can expect an early spring.
Now, the joker in all this business
ig this: Regardless Of what the
grounhog does on February 2 and
whether the sun is shining or not
when he comes out of his hole, we
shall have six more weeks of winter,
anyway. For officially winter does
not end until the spring equinox on
March 21 and from February 2 to
March 21, it’s all of six weeks—and
then some, More than that scien-
tists tell us that there’sno depend-
énce to be placed upon the ground-
hog as a weather prophet. Govern-
ment weather records for the last
50 years show that he has missed
it much more frequently than he has
hit it.
But regardless of what the scien-
tists say, there are many people who
more than half believe the truth of
the Groundhog day superstition.
The reason is that this supersti-
tion is rooted in traditions almost
as old as the human race, Certain-
ly it goes back before the beginning
of the Christian era and the mod-
ern tradition is another of those
queer combinations of heathen and
Christian beliefs. One inspiration
for it, probably, was the spring fes-
tival in honor of Ceres, the Roman
earth goddess of abundant crops,
who was known as Demeter by the
One day, so runs the myth, her
daughter, Persphone, was plucking
flowers when she saw a narcissus of
great beauty. AS she reached out
her hand to touch it it sprang into
life as Hades, King of the Dead, in
a golden chariot.
The hated monarch bore her away,
screaming, to his dark palace under-
und. The abduction was noted by
Helios, the Sun, and by Hekate, who
told the grief-stricken mother when
she abandoned her duties and the so-
ciety of the gods to look for Per-
sephone, She refused to let the earth
produce until her daughter return-
ed unharmed, Barrenness and mil-
dew wasted the fields.
At last Zeus, who had arranged
for the wedding of Persephone to
the powerful but unpopular Lord of
the Dead, sent his messenger to re-
turn her to her mother. Because
she had eaten a pomegranate seed
given her by Hades she was doomed
o spend the dark months of winter
with him, but in planting and har-
vest time she belonged to the sunny
fields and fruitladen groves of her
Somewhat the essential idea of
this myth is found in the beliefs as-
sociated with Candlemas day, the
name given to February 2 in the
early Christian era. Candlemas day
commemorated the presentation of
the Christ-child in the temple and
the purification of the mother. The
blessing of candles, to be carried in
honor of the Virgin, became a rite
of the early church. In ancient Eng-
land the combination of the Chris-
tian and heathen belief was most
strikingly shown by the fact that it
meant the disappearance of every
Christmas green, For every leaf
of holly left by a careless maid, so
it was believed, she would be sure
to see some terrible goblin.
Just when weather prophecy be-
came a part of the Candlemas day
tradition is unknown, but all over
Christendom there persisted a belief
in February 2 as a time for weather
forecast. Especially was
that a fair day on that date portend-
ed much winter yet to come. One
Scotch couplet says:
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
There'll be two winters in the year,
Another assures us:
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o0 Winter's to come and
mair, :
If Candlemass Day be wet and foul,
The half o’ Winter's gane at Yule.
A more optimistic version had it
When Candlemas Day is Come and
The snow lies on a hot stone.
German legend also chronicles
Far as the sun shines on Candlemas
So far will the snow swirl until the
As for the association of the
groundhog with the weather super-
stition, the origin of that, too is
wrapped in consderable mystery. So
far as is known the Germans orig-
inated that idea, only they made
use of the badger as their weather
prophet. In France and Switzerland
jt was the marmot and in England
the hedgehog, Among the Scandi-
navians there is a legend of the bear
waking up in his den after the
winter hibernation, seeing the sun
shine into it and turning over to
sleep for six weeks more, knowing
that winter is only half over.
Just why the early English set-
tlers in America should have pick-
ed upon an animal similar to the
French and Swiss marmot (for the
groundhog is a species of the mar-
mot family, one of his scientific
names being Marmota Monax) for
their February 2 weather prophet is
not clear, They found badgers on
this continent, so why didn’t they
follow the German tradition and se-
lect the badger? Or, since they
were English, why didn’t they use
the American counterpart of the
it true | UP
‘European hedgehog,
animal they did choose they gave
‘quantities of timber,”
the porcupine,
and have “Porky” do their weather
predicting for them? But the fact
ins that they didn’t, and to the
two most inappropriate names—
woodchuck and groundhog. Part of
the former title is correct. He does
live mainly in the woods, but where
does the “chuck” part come in? Of
course there's the old riddle about
“How much wood could a woodchuck
chuck, if a woodchuck would chuck
wood?’ to indicate a belief that this
animal can “manipulate hypothetical
2 but that
doesn’t solve the question of this
| name for him. Nor is groundhog
more than half correct. It’s true
also, that he lives for the most part
in the ground but he is not a hog,
nor remotely related to the hog, Like
those other porcinely misnamed ani-
mals, the porcupine and the guinea
pig, he is a rodent and is related to
the squirrels and the rabbits.
It is highly unlikely that whether
the sky be bright or cloudy on Can-
dlemas day the groundhog bothers
to come up to look for his highly
important shadow, at least north of
the Mason-Dixon line. He is a very
sound sleeper, and snoozes the winter
away in his burrow, rolled up in a
compact ball with his nose tucked
into his tummy, If you find his home
and dig him out he will not awaken,
for the sleep of hibernation is much
more deathlike than ordinary slum-
ber, and a hibernating animal will
stand the roughest kind of treatment
without showing any signs ‘of life.
Even when he does come out, with
the real return of spring and plenty
of green stuff to eat, the groundhog
is still a sleepy-head. He has no
other waking occupation except eat-
ing, fighting occasionally, and tak-
ing care of his family during the
breeding period, so that he has
plenty of leisure time on his hands
in summer, He spends that in sleep,
The groundhog is not a beauty. He
is from 15 to 18 inches tall and his
coat is blackish or grizzled above and
chestnut red below. His form is
thick and his head broad and flat,
He has a bushy tail and his legs are
too short to make him handsome,
The groundhog digs burrows deep
into the ground when on the plains,
or when he can find a hill he will
burrow into the side of it. He also
views as a favorable site for his home
a large rock under which he may
dig. His burrow slants upward to
keep out water,
The groundhog is a vegetarian
with a strong preference for alfalfa
and clover, That does much to dam-
age his reputation with farmers, who
annually lose thousands of dollars
because of his taste.
In the southern mountains, where
he is known as the whistle-pig, he
is all the more resented when on
February 2 sleet finds the unstopped
cracks in a log cabin and unseason-
able chill penetrates the cornhusk bed
with its scant covers. But the vio-
lence that overtakes him there is
due to his liking for the bark of
tender young apple trees and gar-
den stuff.
However, despite all that the sci-
entists may say about Mr, Arctomys
Monax—that he is not really the ani-
mal that his common names indicate
and that he has nothing whatever
to do with deciding the question of
“Can spring be far behind ?—the be-
lief in the Groundhog day tradition
is pretty likely to persist indefinitely
and on or about February 2 we can
expect to see such newspaper stories
as the following:
Dodge City, Kan—I give up. There
must be something to it.”
So declared J. L. Hayes, Dodge
City, as he wonderingly watched his
groundhog playing about his yard in
the bright sunlight this morning.
The little animal had dug his way
from his den, where he had remained
since November 27 last, and was
roaming about.
“I never believed in that gag" he
said, “but what in thunder is a man
to think now? I hid all my calen-
dars, and that groundhog hadn't
seen one I swear, How did he know
this was the second of February?
This is the first day he has been out
since November 27. when he holed
“You can’t blame it on me; that
groundhog dug out on his own initia-
tive. Look at him. It is six weeks
more of winter, sure, That ground-
hog has convinced me there is some-
thing in the old superstition,”
Or it may be a “believe it or not”
item such as the following:
Mr. Hayes brought the groundhog
to Dodge City from Saguache Park,
Colo., two years ago, to test the old
superstition, Last February 2 the
animal emerged from his hole at 4
o'clock in the afternoon, remained in
the sunlight about twenty minutes
and then re-entered his den, piling
dirt in the opening until it was com-
pletely closed.
Frank Nollier tells this one: A
man back in Iowa says he is a firm
believer in the groundhog theory.
The man was out cutting wood on
groundhog day and took off his coat
and put it on a log, When he came
to get his coat it was gone. He look-
ed everywhere, but could not find it.
Six weeks later he was cutting wood
in the same place. He happened to
look around and saw a groundhog
come out of his hole and put his
coat on the hog where he had found
it six weeks previous, Now you tell
That invitation is repeated by the
writer of this article, and if you
can tell a better one, he will incor-
porate it in his Groundhog day ar-
ticle next year!
He—*Did you ever study Latin?”
He—“What is the word for gold.”
He—“Would you decline it?”
She—*“I should say not!”
comes a bow-
Professor— ‘How do you say
Shakespearian ‘Here
legged man.’ ”,
Pupil—“What is that approaching
on parentheses?”
—The Mountain Echo, Altoona
And there was the absent-minded
professor who gave his finger-nails
an examination and cut his class.
Danube’s “Iron Gate”
The famous [ron gate in the Da-
nube is not a gate at all. That is
merely the picturesque mame original-
ly given by the Turks to a narrow
gorge or pass where the river has cut
its way through a spur of the Tran-
sylvanian alps a few miles below
Orsova in Rumania. A real gate of Ere
Oh, Yes! Call Bellefonte 43:
W.R. Shope Lumber Co.
Lumber, Sash, Doors, Millwork and Roofin:,
iron could not have more effectively
prevented the passage of Turkish
fleets than the dangerous rapids and
massive boulders which obstructed the
channel for nearly two miles. In1890
a Hungarian company began the re-
moval of many of the obstructions. by
a series of blasting operations. The
If you think you're the best,
—The teacher gazed sorrowfully
at the small boy who had stolen an
a £ te KLINE WOODRING.—Attorney at
pple from one of his schoolmates. Yn a
river through the Iron gate or Iron Tell them So «Bear in mi » Law, Bellefonte, Pa.
. , mind James,” the teacher » s
Saige was Js ga for navigation If yowd have it lead the rest, said “that jiiése , Sefupiations can dang Office, room 18 Drides's JB0.
896 Help it grow. easily be resisted if you turn a deaf | cp RELY JOHNSTON. At
Paper Has Kept Growth
When there's anything to do
Let them always count on you
You'll feel better when its through,
ear to them.”
The boy looked solemnly at her.
“But teacher, he said, “I haven't got .
Law, Bellefonte, Pa. Prompt
tion given all legal business entrusted
to his care. Offices—No. 5, High
street. B44
In the United States the history of And that’s so. a deaf ear.”
paper is the history of the country. | When a scholar from afar en J Vustice of the Fence. All professions
When the Revolutionary war broke out Comes along, Bi o ! Pe ? Peas, . An J otes) atl
there was hardly enough paper avail-
able to wad the guns of the soldiers
or upon which to write the orders of
their officers. There was virtually no
Name your school, tel who you are.
! Make it strong..
Never falter, never bluff
Be a booster, that’s the stuff.
At a Reduced Rate, 20%
Offices on second floor of Temple Court.
G. RUNKLE.— Attorney-at-L ry
Consultation in En, Ft Gere
paper. By 1810, however, the use had Dont just belong. #3 J. M. EEICHLINE, Agem Bellotons pa Boe in Crider's Exchagé;
increased to about one pound per capita ST BEE = sm — —
per year. It had grown to over eight PHYSICIANS
pounds in 1850. The Civil war great-
I eelerated one. In 190 | WE FIT THE FEET Sagi, D-Rlrasiel, 30d
> county, Pa. Office at his residence.
it was 57 pounds; in 1923, 150 pounds. 36-41
and today the people of the nation an- R. R. L. CAPERS.
nually consume more than their own 9 OSTEOPATH.
welgit 1 paper. Baney’s Shoe Store gu. ia slg
Crider’s Ex. 66-11 Holmes Bldg.
Bell-Ringing Clocks WILBUR H. BANEY, Proprietor C Tiered and dicensea_ by the State.
Perhaps the earliest tower clock 30 years in the Business Hat examined, glazes Sled, os
ah 3 guaranteed. Frames = placed
with bell-ringing mechanism was one and lenses matched. Casebeer Bl(: . High
made by Peter Lightfoot, a monk of BUSH ARCADE BLOCK St., Bellefonte, Pa. 1-22:tf
Glastonbury, England, about 1325, VA B. ROAN, Optometrist, Licensed
writes Satis N. Coleman in his book, BELLEFONTE, PA. by the State Board, State College.
“Bells.” Connected with this clock : fonte, In the Garbric : bullding. opposite
were automatic figures which struck SERVICE OUR SPECIALTY SPECIAL ORDERS SOLICITED the Court House, Wednesday afternoons
a bell on the hours. These perform-
ing figures pleased the public. and
many of the town clocks of Europe
from 2 to 8 p. m. and Saturdays 9 a. m.
to 4:30 p. m. Bell Phone. 68-40
were provided with such figures to
ring the bells on the hours. They
were used for proclaiming time long
pefore the introduction of clock
dials.—Detroit News.
Unbreakable Glass
The bureau of standards says that
in general non-shatterable glass is of
three distinct types. One of these is
unusually thick; another consists of
two or more layers of glass cemented
together with an organic binder, such
as celluloid, and the third is prepared
py special heat treatment. The first
of these can be identified by its rela-
tively great thickness, the second by
examining the edge of the glass for
laminated structure, and the third
by its irregular figures, seen when the
In our meat market you will find
all the choice cuts that can be had.
We buy beefs in the original quar-
ters and can serve you with the best.
Our stock is tender and fresh. It is
the best meat that money can buy.
Our regular customers would not go
We have taken on the line of
Purina Feeds
We also carry the line of
glass is examined In polarized light.
« « « here is why!
elsewhere, ye want to add your WwW F d
patronage to our steadily
paironag growing ayne eeas
Telephone 6687 Purina Cow Chow, 349 $8.10 per H
Market on the Diamond Purina Cow Chow, 24% 2.80 per H
Wayne Dairy, 329 . 8.00perH
|! Bellefonte, Penna. Wayne Dairy, m7; ; 2.35 por H
: ayne horse fe - 2.60 per
P. L. Beezer Estate.....Meat Market | Gane csiner © iis
34-34 Wayne all mash Chick
Starter - 4.00 per H
Wagner's All Mash Grower 3.40 per H
These cold days mean hearty
morning appetites . . . but not
one bit of extra work for women
who cook electrically. Just start
your cereal when clearing up in
the evening, then put it in the
oven and set the automatic con-
trol to turn on the current in
the morning.
By the time you are up and
dressed the cereal will be done
the rest of the breakfast
is cooked in a jiffy. Snap the
switch and a steady glow of clean
Nourishing Winter
Cooked in a Jifty.. . Electrically
Wagner's Dairy, 32% 2.75 per H
Wagner’s Dairy, 20% - 2.45 per H
Wagner's Dairy, 16% - 2.60 per H
Wagner's Pig meal - 280perH
Wagner's Egg mash with
buttermilk - - 8.00 per H
Wagner's Scratch feed 2.40 per H
Wagner’s Standard Chop 2.20 per H
Wagner’s Winter Bran 1.90 per H
Wagner’s Winter Middlings 2.10 per H
Wagner’s Pure Corn Chop 2.30 per H
Wagner's Cracked Corn 2.30 per H
Oil Meal - - 8.20 per H
Cotton Seed meal - 280perH
Gluten Feed - - 2.50 per H
Gluten Meal - - 8.25 per H
Fine ground Alfalfa 2.30 per H
Meat meal - _ 400perH
Tankage, 60% 5 4.25 per H
Manamar Fish 6.00 per H
i Orbico Mineral and Bone
Meal - 5 2.75 per H
Stock Salt - - 1.10 per BH
Oyster Shell Ts 1.10 per H
Let us grind your corn and oats
and make up your Feeds with
H Cotton Seed Meal, Oil Meal, Alfalfa,
Gluten Feed and Bran Molasses,
We will make delivery of two ton
lots. No charge,
When You Want Good Bread or
Pastry Flour
C. Y. Wagner & Co. in
¢6-11-1yr. BELLEFONTE, PA.
Caldwell & Son
Bellefonte, Pa.
and Heating
heat is turned against the base
of the cooking utensil. No pre-
heating is necessary and no heat
is wasted. You can even serve
beautifully browned biscuits fif-
teen or twenty minutes from the
time you enter the kitchen.
It’s just as easy to cook a sub- |
stantial oven dinner. Everything
cooks perfectly withoutany atten-
tion from you. And it goes farther
and tastes better because very
little evaporation of juices takes
place. Cook electrically for economy.
By Hot Water
Pipeless Furnaces
Full Line of Pipe and Fit-
tings and Mill Supplies
All Sizes of Terra Cotta
Pipe and Fittings
Cheerfully ana Promptly Furnished