Substitute Groundhog?

I understand that today, February 2, is Groundhog Day. I hear a lot of people talking about it, but it doesn’t mean much to me. I don’t know what a groundhog is or why it should have a special day! We have all kinds of hogs in Texas. The 4H kids raise market hogs that they show at the County Fair. There are feral hogs that roam the countryside and tear up farmers fields. Some people like to hunt them. I hear a lot about those kinds of hogs. But I don’t think that any of those hogs live underground. They just dig up the ground!

In my search for understanding, I came across a really nice little book that was just up my alley, as they say! It’s called Substitute Groundhog. It was written by a Texas lady, Pat Miller and illustrated by Kathi Ember. It was published by Albert Whitman & Co. in 2006.


The story is about a poor groundhog who gets sick right before his big day that he’s supposed to come out of his hole! Dr. Owl tells him that he needs to stay in bed for 2 days. So Groundhog decides to advertise for a substitute groundhog. All kinds of critters apply for the job — Mole and squirrel and bear and eagle. But none of them have just the right qualifications. Along comes a strange creature who happens to be visiting from Texas! That’s right — Texas! To save the day!

IMG_0842And that strange creature is Armadillo!! Now I know all about Armadillos! They live right here in the 7 Acre Wood. Underground. They usually come out at night, not during the day when they would see their shadow. But I can see that an Armadillo would make a good substitute for poor, sick Groundhog! And so he does! And you’ll have to read the book yourself to see what happens in the end!

I hear that Mr. Phil, the official Groundhog, didn’t see his shadow today and that’s supposed to be a good thing.


I DID see my shadow today and for me that’s a good thing! It’s a glorious day here in Texas! I hope y’all have one, too!

If you’ve never seen an Armadillo, here’s a little video of one in his hole! Does he see his shadow? Of course he does! He’s in Texas!

7 thoughts on “Substitute Groundhog?

  1. Do you REALLY have armadillos? How strange! For some reason I thought they resided in Africa….or at the outside, Brazil. Clearly, I have little knowledge of armadillology and should therefore probably read this book. Thanks!

    • Armadillos are our state mammal! There are different types of armadillos. The ones in Texas are nine-banded. I think the ones in Africa are 3 banded or something. They are quite prevalent here and can be quite a nuisance in the yard and garden. But we kind of like them.

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