Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, January 31, 1930, Image 3
‘Bellefonte, Pa., January 31, 1980. rm ER GROUNDHOG DAY 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 Greeks. 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 mother, 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, : a If Candlemass Day be wet and foul, The half o’ Winter's gane at Yule. A more optimistic version had it thus: When Candlemas Day is Come and gone, The snow lies on a hot stone. German legend also chronicles that: Far as the sun shines on Candlemas Day. So far will the snow swirl until the May. 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, ‘remains 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, too, 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 me, 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?” She—*“Yes.” He—“What is the word for gold.” She—*“Aurum.” He—“Would you decline it?” She—*“I should say not!” in 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 LUMBER? 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 mm BE A BOOSTER If you think you're the best, ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW —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. FIRE INSURANCE At a Reduced Rate, 20% Offices on second floor of Temple Court. 49-5-1y 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 ANY CUT YOU DESIRE 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 FEEDS! We have taken on the line of Purina Feeds We also carry the line of glass is examined In polarized light. BELLEFONTE COOKS ELECTRICALLY « « « 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 WEST PENN POWER CO 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 USE “OUR BEST” OR «GOLD COIN” FLOUR C. Y. Wagner & Co. in ¢6-11-1yr. BELLEFONTE, PA. Caldwell & Son Bellefonte, Pa. Plumbing and Heating Breakfasts 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. Vapor....Steam By Hot Water Pipeless Furnaces AAAS AAPA PPPS IIIS Full Line of Pipe and Fit- tings and Mill Supplies All Sizes of Terra Cotta Pipe and Fittings ~~ ESTIMATES Cheerfully ana Promptly Furnished 68-15-tf.