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This short piece was written for the Spring Fling Kit Lit contest in April 2024.

Spring is Late

“Spring is late,” announced Groundhog, poking his head aboveground.
He wasn’t talking to himself.
Winter was there, still sipping her tea. Suitcase unpacked.

“Don’t mind me,” lingered Winter. “I’ll wait!”

Groundhog grumbled, “I won’t last six more weeks.”
Squirrel appeared, unannounced, bearing snacks.
“For me?” elbowed Winter, dunking the acorns in her tea.
Groundhog whimpered. His snout twitched terribly.
This. Was. Unbearable.

Bear wandered in wearily, wondering who’d awakened him.
“She’s barely budged since November!” complained Groundhog.
“She soggied my acorns,” sighed Squirrel.
“No can do!” bowed Bear, bending down to sleep.

At long last, the ducks flew into view.
One glimpse of Groundhog’s grimace and they swiftly soared south.

A knock at the door.
“Sorry I’m late,” Spring said casually.
Before Groundhog could reply, a voice from inside.
“Is that you, Spring? Come for tea. Nobody here’s in a hurry!”

“Next year,” mouthed Groundhog, “she’s staying with you.”