Groundhog by Allison Huyett
GEORGE. Groundhog by Allison Huyett

   Ten to seven: Reading’s signature, the Pagoda, glows red on Mount Penn as dawn inches its way in around the edges of night and day.

 Groundhog cakes for sale at the bakery, $3 each. A flat basket holds four of them on a minimalistic bed of green shredded paper, two chocolate and two vanilla. After my visit the bakery has one fewer of the chocolate. Right out the door. Rich.

   PARK NOTES: Pathling pairs: two parallel sticks, two bits of evergreen open to each other, two leaves make a kind of terpsichorean positioning statement.

  Then begins  a string of first aid supplies strewn on the screenings of the path: a white soft gauze sheet , originally mistaken for a dryer sheet, a piece of tissue, and  a band-aid. These seem to tell the story of someone’s treatment unravelling along the way.

    Further up is a drop-dead grungy  glove warmer packet with green lettering: Be Responsible.

     I turn around to complete my loop. A red Swedish fish catches some light of day. I recognise it as the fish I did not take a picture of in the snow.  I find a fresh gum stick in its wrapper with red and black  Trident printing. Did the bicyclist in the red jacket  and dark pants just drop it or did I miss it on the way up? Sheer mystery of life!

   There are no herons that I can see. I would, however like to introduce George, the groundhog. He appeared a finished product in my studio/the loft last evening after two hours labor using items (cardboard) from the garage, a crimp of fur from a belt, the wooden buckle of which I was saving to make a little frame, string, twine, two buttons, faux fur from a detachable sweater collar,  a nubbin of brown mat board, a cut of coffee cuff and some magic marker. James Castle, the extraordinary artist, who made the most charming figures the world has ever seen, provided the inspiration.


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