The European groundhogs subsequently went extinct in the Ice Age, and it was left to the German colonists of Punxsutawney to reintroduce the festival when they found some fresh groundhogs. These days, the Beaker Women mark the day by wishing the Beaker Men were as charming as Bill Murray.
There being no groundhogs around, as usual today's Groundhog substitute was the ever-reliable Earless Beaker Bunny. As is the tradition, we started trying to get her out of her cage on the Feast of the Epiphany, and finally succeeded last night. In a new record low, she only inflicted three bites that required hospitalisation this year.
Once put on the grass outside the Moot House, she looked grumpily around, gave us one of her evil stares, "binked" round in a circle - which is the Bunny signal for more rain - and then went back in her box. And so, as the Beaker Quire sang "I Got You, Babe", we concluded that, it being England, we have no idea what the weather's going to be like for the next six weeks.