22

A Very Gator Easter – Part III

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Where we are: Granny Gator is hosting the family Easter at South Padre Island, Texas. Uncle Stu is being detained at the train station after being accused of catnapping three kittens (Muffin, Zelda, and Dude Cat) on the trip from Florida (stopping in South Carolina to pick up Stan and his family). You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Grandpa Cat: I demand that you arrest this filthy reptile. He was going to made a snack out of our kittens.

Dude Cat: Grandpa, Uncle Stu wouldn’t hurt us. He’s a nice gator.

Grandpa Cat: There’s no such thing as a nice gator. He’s a predator, and he needs to be locked up.

Angry cat is angry | SOON. | Chiaki Narusawa | Flickr

Stan: I knew it wasn’t a good idea to get mixed up with a bunch of cats.

Grandpa Cat: What’s wrong with cats?

Stan: You’re being hysterical. Uncle Stu wasn’t hurting the kittens.

Suzy: Yeah. If he wanted to eat them, he could have done that back in Florida.

Uncle Stu: I don’t eat kittens. That’s barbaric.

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Dude Cat: He was protecting us, Grandpa. So we’d get here safely.

Grandpa Cat: That’s ridiculous. Alligators are predators. I want him locked up.

The Security Dog came back, talking on his phone.

Dog: Yes, sir. They are safe. They don’t appear to be frightened…All right, I’ll let you talk to him.

Laughter as Golden Retriever Steals Owner's Phone Using the Pop Socket

The dog walked over to the cats.

Dog: I got your son’s phone number from the kittens’ carrier. He says that he asked the alligator to watch the kittens on the trip.

Grandpa Cat: Let me talk to him….Rufus, it’s your father…Yes, they appear to be fine…that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard…he’s an alligator…yes, I suppose that’s true…all right…Happy Easter to you too…love you.

The cat handed the phone back to the Security Dog. Then he walked over to Uncle Stu.

Grandpa Cat: I guess I owe you an apology. My goofy son says that he did ask you to watch his kittens. Said that he didn’t think anyone would bother them if they were with an alligator. Never dawned on him that you might be dangerous.

The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the American Alligator | WIRED

Uncle Stu: I’m not dangerous.

Dude Cat: Grandpa, I told you. He’s a good gator. He made sure we were safe.

Muffin and Zelda nodded. The three kittens walked up to Uncle Stu and rubbed against him, purring.

Uncle Stu: Good-bye kitties. Hope you have a good holiday.

The gators walked out of the station and took a shuttle to the resort.

What is a Group of Alligators Called? | Animals Pickings

Granny: I’m so glad to see you. I was getting worried; your train was due hours ago.

Justine: We had a little adventure. Uncle Stu was babysitting some kittens for the trip.

Danny: Kittens? Where did he find kittens?

Justine: They found him. In Miami Beach.

Danny: Didn’t anyone think it was weird that he was travelling with kittens?

Adele: We don’t really think anything Uncle Stu does is weird anymore. But the grandparents were not happy.

Stan: Yeah. I was afraid for a few minutes that we were going to have to leave him locked up.

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Uncle Stu: I really don’t understand what all the fuss was about. The guy asked me to watch his kittens on the trip, and I watched his kittens on the trip. It’s like no one’s ever seen an alligator babysit kittens before.

Danny: I’m not sure anyone has seen an alligator babysit kittens. I get weird stares for studying birds. There’s an awful lot of folks who are afraid of us.

John: I know. Sometimes I hate to even use public transportation.

Granny: Well, let’s forget about all that and enjoy our holiday. It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend.

Adele: That sounds good to me. I’m looking forward to Easter.

Suzy: I can’t wait to see my basket.

Justine: Remember a couple of years ago when we got chocolate alligators and platypuses? I hope we get those again this year.

The gators headed out to the beach to lay in the sun and relax.

Swampy's Easter Cards: This gator will be hopping down the bunny trail soon! | Gator, Bunny, Florida

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

18

A Very Gator Easter – Part II

Why Are Alligators Showing Up on Beaches? | The Weather Channel

Where we are: Granny Gator has rented space on South Padre Island, Texas, for the family to spend Easter together. Uncle Stu was supposed to go to Stan’s house to ride with them, but thought he was going to South Miami Beach rather than South Carolina where Stan actually lives. The family is waiting for him at the train station. You can read Part I here.

Suzy: I hope Uncle Stu is on the train.

Adele: So do I. Everything’s packed. We just need to pick him up and get on the train to Texas. That way’s there’s no getting lost between the station and our house.

Stan: Stu said some big cats had helped him get the tickets. Hopefully, they were better organized than he is.

Adele: Only Stu would make friends with cats at a train station.

Police wrangle 9-foot alligator outside Florida apartment building – WSVN  7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

Stan: I wonder how he ended up on a train. He said he was going to take a bus to our house.

Justine: That was before he realized he was going to the wrong place.

Stan: Good point, honey. The bus driver probably dropped him off at the train station.

The train pulled in, and it became too loud to talk for a few minutes. The gators scanned the arriving passengers.

Suzy: There he is! Uncle Stu! Uncle Stu!

Royalty-Free photo: Black alligator beside body of water during daytime |  PickPik

Uncle Stu looked a little disheveled, but otherwise fine.

Uncle Stu: Greetings from South Florida! Good to see you Stan! Adele, you and the girls are as beautiful as ever. How are you all?

Justine: We’re great Uncle Stu. Glad you made it.

Uncle Stu: Glad to be here. I had no idea you lived so far away. I feel like I’ve been travelling for days.

Stan: You’re here now. Let’s get your bags and get on the road. We have a long drive ahead of us.

Uncle Stu: All right. They’re over there.

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He pointed to a suitcase and a bag. Stan started to pick up the bag. Then he dropped it and looked inside.

Stan: Uncle Stu, I think we have a problem.

Uncle Stu: What do you mean?

Stan: There are kittens in your bag. I think you have stowaways from the cats you met.

Uncle Stu: No, that’s Muffin, Zelda, and Dude Cat. They’re coming to South Padre Island with us.

Stan: What do you mean, they’re coming to South Padre Island with us?

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Uncle Stu: That’s how I met their parents. I was wandering around the train station, trying to buy a ticket to your place. I got in line behind these very nice cats. They were sending their kittens to stay with their grandparents over spring break. Turns out we were all going to the same place in the end.

Stan: Why did you bring them with you instead of having them go to directly to Texas?

Uncle Stu: I thought they’d be safer with me than taking that long trip by themselves. I didn’t think you’d mind.

Stan: Their parents weren’t concerned about giving their kittens to an alligator?

Uncle Stu: Why should they be? I’m a nice guy.

Alligator attack: Birthday party guest rescues Utah animal trainer | CNN

Adele: We know that, but you’re an alligator. We eat small animals.

Uncle Stu: Adele! I would never eat a kitten! That’s awful!

Justine: They’re so cute! We have to help them get to Texas.

Stan: I don’t like the idea of traveling with kittens. What will the other animals think?

Adele: We can’t just leave them at the station.

Stan: I thought you said you were helped by big cats. These are just regular-sized kittens.

What Are the Largest Cat Breeds? | Litter-Robot

Uncle Stu: Well, they were pretty good-sized cats. At least 10 pounds each. They bought tickets for the kittens. And they bought mine too, for watching the kittens.

Stan looked at the kittens, then at his family.

Stan: Fine. They can come with us. But I am not watching kittens.

Justine and Suzy squealed with delight.

Suzy: Oh, boy! I don’t know anyone who’s been this close to a kitten. They’re so fuzzy. Think I can touch one of them?

Adele: Let’s wait until we’re settled on the train. I don’t want to scare them.

Why This Alligator Lived in a Los Angeles Family's Backyard for 37 Years -  ABC News

Stan had gotten a private compartment for the overnight trip. They settled in and let the kittens out of the bag. Oddly, the kittens didn’t seem to be afraid of the alligators. They drank some milk and curled up in a corner. Soon everyone was asleep.

In the morning, the gators woke up to find the kittens curled up with Uncle Stu. Suzy went up and nudged one of them to wake it up. The kitten arched its back and hissed. Suzy giggled.

Suzy: Aww, look! It’s trying to scare me. It’s adorable!

They got breakfast and packed everything up before the train pulled into the station.

Adele: What do we do with the kittens when we get off?

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Uncle Stu: I guess their grandparents will be there to pick them up.

Stan: Do we know what they look like?

Uncle Stu: I guess they’re gonna look like cats.

Stan: That’s not really helpful, Uncle Stu.

Uncle Stu: How many cats will be there looking for three kittens?

Stan: I have a bad feeling about this.

Battle Ground Police Department suspends K-9 program - The Columbian

They got off the train and didn’t see any cats. The kittens were restless after being cooped up for so long and started to cry. Suddenly, the gators were surrounded by police dogs.

Dog #1: Halt! Stop right there and don’t move.

Grandma Cat: Check their bags. They’re trying to steal our kittens.

Uncle Stu: What do you mean? We’re not stealing kittens.

The kittens were crying loudly.

Grandpa Cat: I can hear them. That’s our grandbabies. Those alligators have stolen them.

Grandma Cat: They’re probably going to eat them. Help us!

Uncle Stu: This is a misunderstanding. I was bringing the kittens here for their parents. I wouldn’t hurt them.

Angry Cat: 14 Signs Your Cat Is Mad at You — Fighting Cats

Grandma Cat: He admits he has our kittens. Arrest him!

Stan: Calm down. We’re not stealing your kittens.

Dog #1: What are you doing with the kittens?

Uncle Stu: I told you. I was helping them get here from Florida. Their parents sent them with me.

Grandma Cat: Our son would never trust an alligator with his kittens. Arrest them!

Dog #1: I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to come with us.

The dogs led the alligators off to a side room with the older cats trailing behind.

Next week: Can Uncle Stu talk his way out of being arrested?

Man breaks into crocodile enclosure, gets bitten

17

A Very Gator Easter

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Granny Gator has rented a spot on South Padre Island, Texas for Easter weekend and invited the whole family for a vacation. Stan, Adele, and the girls have been looking forward to it for weeks. As much as they love South Carolina, it’s a little chilly for doing much outside during the winter.

Suzy: I am so excited! Only two more weeks until Texas! This is going to be great!

Justine: I know! I just got my special lotion to make my skin absorb more of the sun. I’m going to be like a heat magnet.

Adele: What are you talking about Justine? All you do is lie in the sun and absorb it.

Justine: I know. Mom. But this is supposed to make my skin absorb it better. I figured it would help me wake up from this semi-torpor we’ve been in.

Adele: Where did you hear about that?

Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly  touchy | Vanderbilt University

Justine: I saw it on GatorGram. A lot of the girls are using it. It’s supposed to make my skin softer and shinier too.

Suzy: You are so gullible. You really believe those ads?

Justine: I do. Here, let me show you.

Justine pulled out her phone and brought up an ad.

Justine: See. Just look at the before and after.

Suzy: That’s not an alligator. That’s a chameleon. And it’s shed its skin in the second picture.

Adele: Probably because the cream irritated its skin. You’re not using that.

Justine: Mom! That’s not fair.

Adele: Your skin is fine the way it is. You’re not using that cream. Some human probably developed it.

viral alligator photos | This alligator goes to work; netizens wonder if it  wears pants | Trending & Viral News

Stan was looking at his computer screen.

Stan: Why are earth are we travelling all the way to Texas? It’s warm in Florida.

Suzy: We always go to Florida. This way we get to see something new.

Stan: But why Texas?

Justine: You can blame Cousin Danny for that. You know he’s trying to be a bird doctor, right? There’s a huge Birding and Nature Center in the middle of the island. Humans come from all over to see the birds.

Ecoviews: Why do birds perch on alligators?

Suzy: Yeah. Danny figured that if it’s good enough for all those humans, it’s good enough for us.

Adele: Ugh. I hate humans. They have germs.

Stan: Don’t worry. If anyone bothers us, Uncle Charlie and John can scare them off.

Justine: Yep. The meanest gator in the family and the biggest. All Uncle Charlie needs to do is growl and show his teeth.

Stan’s phone rang:

Stan: Hello?__ Hi, Ma. How’s it going?__ Really?__ Are you sure no one else can take him? __I guess if he comes up here it’d work.__ Yeah.__ We can take him.__ Don’t worry about it.__ Love you too.

Stan set down his phone, looking irritated.

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Adele: How’s your mom?

Stan: She’s fine. But Vinny can’t make Easter. Apparently it’s still tourist season in Miami, and the resort won’t give him the time off.

Adele: That’s too bad. We’ll miss him.

Stan: The real problem is that he was going to bring his dad.

Justine: So Uncle Stu can’t go? That’s awful.

Suzy: Yeah. He’s the most fun relative we have.

Stan: Granny wants us to bring him.

Adele: That doesn’t make any sense. Almost everyone else lives in Florida. They’re all closer.

Gatorland | Experience Kissimmee

Stan: Yeah, but Uncle Stu drives them crazy. And ever since our trip to Michigan, I’m his favorite. If he can’t go with Vinny, he wants to come with us.

Adele: That’ll add two days to our trip.

Stan: He didn’t want to put us out, so he’s coming here by bus. Then we’ll all go to Texas.

Adele: Why can’t he take the bus to Texas?

Stan: He thinks this is more convenient.

Suzy: Cool! I love Uncle Stu.

Alligator In The Road? Just Kick It, One Woman Decides | Baton Rouge, LA  Patch

Uncle Stu was due to arrive the Sunday before Easter. When he hadn’t arrived by sundown, the gators got worried.

Adele: Where is he? I knew it wasn’t a good idea to let him ride the bus by himself.

Justine: He probably got on the wrong one and is almost to New Jersey by now.

Suzy: Or maybe he got confused and went directly to Texas after all.

Stan tried calling him, but got no answer. He sent a text to Vinny asking if he had heard from his father. Shortly before bedtime, his phone rang.

Can you take a cat on a train, bus or tram? | PetsRadar

Stan: Hello. __Hi Stu.__Where are you?__You’re supposed to be here.__No. We’re in SOUTH CAROLINA, not SOUTH MIAMI BEACH.__Yes, you’re right. That is a long way from your house.__I guess it was a misunderstanding.__Are you OK?__Are you sure?__Tuesday will be fine. See you then.

Stan laid down his phone and shook his head.

Stan: Stu won’t be here tonight. For some reason, he thought we lived in South Miami Beach. So he found our street address there. Luckily some very nice big cats live there. They’re putting him on a train north. He’s supposed to be here Tuesday morning.

Next week: Does Stu arrive in time to leave for Texas?

Florida pedestrian gator causes a stir in neighborhood

14

Timmy Squirrel and the Hunt for Daylight Savings Time – Part 2

Squirrel School?...:) | Squirrel funny, Squirrel pictures, Cute squirrel

Where we are: Timmy and his young classmates have heard some humans talking about Daylights Savings Time. Now they are having a contest to see who can “save” the most daylight. They are chattering among themselves before class starts. You can read Part 1 here.

Ms. Hooper: Good Morning, class! I hope you were all thinking about our assignment. Has anyone come up with a way to save daylight?

Several of the children raised their paws, waving to get her attention.

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Ms. Hooper: Timmy, it was your idea. Why don’t you go first?

Timmy: It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to think of ways to save daylight. I couldn’t figure out what you would keep it in.

Suzy: That’s silly. You don’t keep it in anything. You have to share it with everyone.

Timmy: You think you’re so smart. I figured that out too. I found out that days are different lengths different places around the world. So we just have to ask one of those places that have longer days to share some of their daylight with us.

Margy: Ooh. That’s a good idea, Timmy. You’re so smart!

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Timmy sat back down, grinning at Suzy. She glared at Margy.

Ms. Hooper: Okay. That’s one idea. Who else?

Ricky: I have some relatives on the West Coast. It’s light for a couple of hours there after it gets dark here. I’m going to ask them to send us some of their daylight.

Margy: I like that idea too!

Suzy rolled her eyes.

Snooze and you… win! Meet the animals that earned records in their sleep | Guinness World Records

Ms. Hooper: Margy, did you think of anything?

Margy: Well, I thought about it a lot. Sometimes, I nap when it’s light out. I want to figure out a way to save that time so I can use it when it gets dark later.

Ms. Hooper: Any idea how you would do that?

Margy: I was thinking maybe I could put it in a jar.

The other squirrels laughed. Margy got mad.

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Margy: Do you guys have a better idea?

Steve: I think my idea is actually kinda similar. I was thinking that the humans have something called “solar panels”. They’re supposed to trap the energy from the sun. Maybe there’s a way to turn that energy back into more sunlight.

TImmy: I don’t get it.

Steve: We could make reverse solar panels. Instead of trapping the light it would release more.

Timmy: That sounds really goofy. Definitely a human thing. My idea’s a lot better. Just get other places to share with us.

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The squirrels started to argue with each other. Ms. Hooper realized there would be no way to decide whose idea was best.

Ms. Hooper: You all did a great job with the project and came up with some excellent ideas. I’m not sure we have a way to make any of them work, although it would be nice to have a little more sunshine. Let’s move on to our next subject. Does anyone know what season we’re in?

Suzy: It’s still winter, isn’t it?

Ms. Hooper: Yes, it is for a couple more weeks. What comes next?

Monique: It’s spring.

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Ms. Hopper: That’s right. And what happens when spring gets here?

Suzy: The flowers come up, and the trees get their leaves back.

Timmy: And it gets warmer.

Ricky: And the days get longer.

Ms. Hooper: That’s right!

Timmy: Wait a minute! That means that we’re going to have more sunlight.

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Ms. Hooper: Exactly. During the spring and summer, the days are quite a bit longer than during the winter.

Timmy: So why do we want to have Daylight Savings Time now when we already have more daylight?

Suzy: That’s probably when we’re supposed to be saving it to use when the days are shorter. We were thinking about the wrong problem. We don’t want more for the summer. We want to save some of the summer sun for the winter.

Margy: Ooh. That’s tricky. Maybe my jar idea wasn’t so stupid after all.

The squirrels went back to chattering to each other. Ms. Hooper looked out the window and wondered how long it was until Spring Break.

Squirrel party | This is a group of 4 red squirrel siblings:… | Flickr

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

16

Timmy Squirrel and the Hunt for Daylight Savings Time

Photographer captures the nutty lives of squirrels in snow | Mashable |  Cute squirrel, Animals beautiful, Animals wild

Ms. Hooper had been looking for a new game for her class of younger squirrels. It was almost spring, and they were getting restless.

Ricki: Ms. Hooper. I’m bored. Can we go outside?

Ms. Hooper: I’m not sure that’s a good idea. There’s still snow on the ground.

Joey: But we’re squirrels. We like snow. Look at all this fur.

He did have a very plush coat. Suddenly, Ms. Hooper had an idea.

What Do Squirrels Eat? - AZ Animals

Ms. Hooper: All right. Let’s have a treasure hunt. Whoever can find the most acorns in fifteen minutes wins.

Sasha: What do we win?

Ms. Hooper thought for a minute.

Ms. Hooper: You get to choose our next project. I have two ideas, and you can choose which one we do first.

The young squirrels were excited. They loved running around outside. As soon as they heard the signal, they were off looking for acorns. They raced around the schoolyard, looking in the trees and around the bushes. They pawed eagerly at the snow, hoping to find some of the nuts that had fallen from the trees at the end of summer.

Ms. Hooper watched her class, surprised at the number of acorns they were finding. She hadn’t realized there would be so many. There were fifteen students in her class. She had planned on each of them finding one or two nuts. Finally, she called an end.

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Ms. Hooper: Okay, class. Great job! Let’s count what you’ve found.

She went from squirrel to squirrel, counting. Most of them had five to ten acorns. A few had found walnuts. The last student was Timmy, who had a sizable pile of acorns.

Ms. Hooper: Timmy, you did a great job! Where did you find so many nuts?

Timmy: I guess I got lucky. I was over in that corner by myself. And I was really fast running them back to my pile.

Ms. Hooper had everyone put their acorns in a pile in a corner of the classroom and sit down.

Ms. Hooper: I hope you all had fun. We’ve got a lot of acorns there. We can use them as school snacks.

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission advises people who see young squirrel on  the ground to leave it alone | Robesonian

Roberta: So who won, Ms. Hooper? I bet it was me. I got eleven acorns.

Judy: Nope. I got twelve.

Edgar: You both lost. I got fourteen.

Ms. Hooper: Sorry, kids. Timmy’s the winner. He found twenty-one acorns in fifteen minutes. I didn’t think there were a total of twenty of them out there before you started.

Timmy was grinning.

Timmy: Guess I’m the king of the nuts.

Everyone laughed, and he hesitated.

Timmy: That sounded better in my head.

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Ms. Hooper: Anyway, you won. Now you get to choose what we study next.

Timmy: Oh, boy!. Let’s study running around outside. We can see who’s the fastest and figure out why.

The rest of the class cheered. They started to get up.

Ms. Hooper: Back in your seats. I said that I had two ideas, remember?

Timmy: Rats! I forgot. I bet they’re not as good as my idea.

Ms. Hooper: I think they’re pretty good. It’s almost spring. We can study the trees or we can study the sun.

Timmy: Those both sound pretty boring.

The other little squirrels nodded.

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Jesse: I know! I heard some humans talking about something called Daylight Savings Time.

Timmy: What’s that?

Jesse: The humans said that it makes it lighter longer in the day.

Timmy: Wow! So there’s more daylight? How do they do that?

Jesse: I don’t know. They must find it somewhere.

Timmy: I’m really good at finding things. I bet I could save more daylight than the humans. We should do that!

Ms. Hooper: I don’t think that’s what the humans meant.

Timmy: Then what did they mean?

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Ms. Hooper: I don’t really know. Squirrels don’t really tell time.

Timmy: But wouldn’t it be great if we could find more daylight? More time for running around and doing stuff. I bet I could find more daylight than anyone else in the class.

The other squirrels started chattering. They were excited about having another contest. Ms. Hooper let them talk for a bit.

Ms. Hooper: All right class. I can see that you are excited about this. Here’s what we’re going to do. Tomorrow, you can all present ideas on how you are going to save daylight. We’ll vote on who has the best idea. Then we’ll talk about the seasons.

Next week: How the squirrels are going to improve Daylight Savings Time.

Squirrel Talk | Never A Dull Bling

Note from Wikipedia: Daylight saving time (DST), also referred to as daylight savings time or daylight time (United States, Canada, and Australia), or summer time (United Kingdom, European Union, and others), is the practice of advancing clocks (typically by one hour) during warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

16

Behind the Scenes with the Easter Bunny

When does the Easter Bunny come? Story behind the famous rabbit we  celebrate at Easter - and when he delivers chocolate eggs | The Scotsman

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) and Ash Wednesday are next week, so Easter is just around the corner. We thought we’d check in with the Easter Bunny (EB), see how things look going into his busiest time of the year. Let’s listen in on a meeting at headquarters.

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EB: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining me at the kick-off for the busiest time of the year here at EB Enterprises. I’m excited to welcome all of you. Let’s kick things off with a report from Raphael in Marketing.

Raphael: Good Morning. I’m excited to say that we are finally back at full capacity after the events of the past few years. We have a lot planned. First, we have signed an agreement with the folks at Holiday Heroes to schedule a full season of Breakfast with the Easter Bunny.

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Jenny: Aren’t those the humans who dress up like EB at malls and restaurants?

Raphael: Yes, it’s a very popular program.

Jenny: But they’re so creepy. They don’t even look like real rabbits.

Raphael: I’m told they’ve been working on their costumes, and they should be a lot better. Hopefully, fewer screaming children.

Geoffrey: And there were those problems with the way they acted too.

Raphael: Right. Carrot mimosas are definitely off the menu. Humans cannot handle carrots and champagne. That was a disaster that we learned from.

The rabbits in the room nod approvingly.

Rabbit: The Other "Other White Meat" | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine

Raphael: You should start seeing them in stores and restaurants beginning next weekend.

Paul: Any plans for making EB more like Santa? More presents and more hype throughout the year?

Raphael: EB is not interested in becoming Santa Claus. He wants to stick with the candy and eggs with maybe a few small gifts thrown in. No major changes in direction. He has decided against a phone app to speak with children. Says he’s more a symbol of spring than a gift machine. He’s going to leave the big stuff to Santa.

Paul: Is it true that Santa doesn’t want the competition?

The Sketchpad: Easter Bunny on Santa's Lap

EB: That’s enough, Paul. Don’t start any rumors. Things are fine between Santa and me. I’m just not interested in a year-round operation like he is. Thank you for your report, Paul. Next let’s hear from Marcia in Distribution.

Marcia: Thanks, EB. It looks like it’s going to be a bit of a challenging year. Global distribution channels are still not fully back to normal, and some things are still a little pricey. We’re doing our best, but it looks like eggs may be a little scarce.

Jeff: How are you going to handle the shortages?

Marcia: We have a lot of connections. I think things will be fine. But we will be working hard right up to the very end to make sure we make and deliver only the best products.

Why do we have Easter eggs and the Easter bunny? - CBBC Newsround

Pierre: I’ve heard rumors that the chickens may go on strike before Easter to make eggs more expensive,

Marcia: I hadn’t heard that. Is it a reliable source?

Pierre: Well. My mother said her sister saw it on Rabbit Reddit.

Suzette: I saw it on BunnyBook. My sister’s mother-in-law sent it to me. She heard it from some friends of hers.

Marcia: I’ll look into it, but I’m guessing those are just rumors.

Ted: Do we have a guaranteed supply of eggs?

Where Does the Easter Bunny Live? Here's Where Your Eggs Come From

Marcia: We’ve never had a problem. We have suppliers all over the world.

EB: Stay calm, everyone. We’ll have plenty of eggs. And I don’t want anyone in this room spreading rumors about the scarcity of eggs. We’re in the hope business, not the egg business.

Josie: What about chocolate? Is there a shortage of that too?

EB looked surprised.

The Ancient Origins of the Easter Bunny | History| Smithsonian Magazine

EB: Josie, I’m surprised at you. You’ve been here long enough to know that chocolate is never a problem for the Easter Bunny. We make our own chocolate. We would never run out of that.

Josie: I forgot. After that mess with getting chocolate alligators and platypuses instead of bunnies and chicks two years ago, we moved it back in-house. Never mind.

EB: Finally, I’m going to turn it over to Jack in Rabbit Resources.

Jack: I just want to remind everyone that we have finished our seasonal hiring. I’m excited to say that we are fully staffed for the first time in three years. Apparently, on-site bunny sitting and all the carrots you can eat were the key. We have also added some tuition reimbursement and bonuses for our regular staff. We will be posting the new teams and schedules by the end of the day.

7 Things I Learned About Workplace Culture From Watching Rabbit Videos

Stuart: Who did the hiring? The last bunch of seasonal employees weren’t very good. And they didn’t last.

Jack: We were more careful this year. Almost everyone is a referral from a current employee or a successful former employee.

Stuart: And no dogs?

Jack: Unfortunately, we will not be bringing in any canines. The Easter Bunny needs to be represented by bunnies. There was too much stress having a potential predator in the factory.

Annabelle: He wasn’t a predator. He was just over-enthusiastic.

Stuart: He kept smelling me. It was unnerving.

Jack: It was a distraction. This year, it’s all rabbits.

EB: Thank you everyone. Let’s make this our best year ever!

He walks out to much foot stomping.

Bunnies Have A Happy Dance! And 6 Other Funky Facts About Rabbits - Modern  Farmer

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

22

Groundhog Day Kerfluffle – Part II

Cocky Groundhog Steals Farmer's Food and Flaunts It in Front of the Camera  - AZ Animals

Where we are: Gustav Groundhog has gotten up early on February 2 to make sure everything is in order for his big Groundhog Day proclamation. Unfortunately, when he leaves the den, he is greeted by a group of hedgehogs who are intent on celebrating Hedgehog Day in the old Roman tradition. The hedgehogs are led by Nigel and Oliver who want to start their own celebration. You can read Part 1 here.

What is the difference between a groundhog and a hedgehog? - Quora

Gustav: See here. This is my spot. The humans will be coming here to watch the groundhog predict whether or not there’s going to be an early spring.

Nigel: There’s no point in your stupid prediction. We’re out and about. That’s enough to say that spring will be early.

Gustav: Don’t be ridiculous. It depends on whether or not I see my shadow. If it’s sunny and I see my shadow, I’m going back to bed for another six weeks.

Oliver: That’s stupid. If you see your shadow, that means it’s sunny. Why would you go back to bed?

Gustav: That’s just the way it works. If it’s sunny early on the 2nd, winter will be sticking around for a while.

Creature Feature: Groundhog Day - Blue Ridge Country

Nigel: So if you wake up in the middle of a snowstorm, that’s a sign of an early spring?

Gustav: I didn’t say that.

Nigel: No, but you won’t see your shadow.

Oliver: Excellent point.

Gustav: It’s never snowed all day on Groundhog Day. I’ve always been able to tell one way or the other. Besides, how do you know whether or not to come out?

snowmen... | Cute animals, Funny hedgehog, Baby hedgehog

Nigel looked at Oliver.

Nigel: Actually, we saw a posting that you would be holding a celebration. We figured that if the weather is good enough for a celebration, it’s good enough for us to come out.

Gustav: So you’re not out because you’re sensing warm weather.

Nigel: It’s warm enough for us to be out.

Oliver: There’s not a manual for this type of thing. It more a matter of whether we’re comfortable leaving home.

Nigel: And we’re comfortable, so we’re going to declare an early spring.

angry hedgehog :3 | Hedgehog, Funny animals, Animal planet

Gustav: You can’t do that. You’ll ruin my big day.

Nigel: It’s not your big day. It started out as Hedgehog Day and your sort stole the idea.

Gustav: We did not steal your idea. No one over here was celebrating that.

They argued back and forth, neither side willing to give up. They didn’t notice that people had begun to arrive and were watching them. The humans were fascinated. They had never seen a groundhog talking to a hedgehog.

Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day 2012: A Shadowy Science

Human 1: Why is that groundhog yelling at the baby porcupines?

Human 2: Those aren’t porcupines, they’re hedgehogs.

Human 3: Where’d they come from? We don’t have wild hedgehogs around here.

Human 1: I have no idea. They’re pretty cute, though.

Human 2: When is that groundhog going to get up on his stump and look for his shadow? It’s freezing out here.

Gustav heard the people talking and realized it was time. He tried to walk away from the hedgehogs, but they had him surrounded.

10 Interesting Facts About Groundhogs and How to Remove Them

Gustav: Please let me make my prediction. It only happens one time each year.

Nigel: We want to be part of the ceremony.

Gustav: Doing what? All I do is stand there. The humans try to see my shadow and take my picture.

Oliver: We want to be in the picture.

Gustav: Fine. Be in the picture. Let’s just get this over with.

Gustav led the way to the big stump in the clearing. He climbed up and waited for the hedgehogs. When everyone was in place, he stood up. The people gathered around.

What Do Hedgehogs Eat? The Complete Food And Diet List

Human 1: Look! No shadow. It’s going to be an early spring!

There was a round of applause. The hedgehogs weren’t used to humans and curled up into balls.

Human 2: I wonder what that means?

Human 3: No idea. But they’re really cute.

The humans left piles of vegetable. Gustav shared them with the hedgehogs, making sure to keep all of the rutabagas.

Nigel: That was rather unpleasant. Humans are large and loud.

Oliver: I don’t think I want to do this anymore.

Nigel: You can have your holiday back, groundhog.

Gustav wandered off to take a quick nap.

Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow - and 3 in 5 Americans  trust his prediction! - Study Finds

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

 

20

Groundhog Day Kerfluffle

Fun Facts About Groundhogs. The groundhog is a rodent of the family… | by  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Updates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife  Service | Medium

Note: In the United States and Canada, February 2 is celebrated as Groundhog Day. According to legend, if a groundhog (or woodchuck) comes out of its den on that day and sees its shadow, it will return to the den and winter will last another six weeks. If it is cloudy, and the groundhog cannot see its shadow, it will remain out and spring will arrive early.

It’s mid-fall somewhere in Northern Michigan. Gustav Groundhog and his family are getting ready for hibernation.

Pin on Cuteness

Monique: Has everybody had enough to eat?

Juliette: I’m stuffed, Mom. Couldn’t eat another bite.

Junior: I’ve been filling up on the last of the rutabagas. I love rutabagas.

Gustav: Remember to leave a couple for the end of the season. I’m going to be hungry when I wake up early.

Juliette: Dad, I don’t understand what the big deal is about Groundhog Day. We should all just sleep until we wake up naturally. Who cares how long winter is going to last?

National Groundhog Day 2022 - Fun Facts - Folklore and Weather Prediction

Gustav: It’s a family tradition. We’ve been the “weather hogs” for generations. It’s not so bad now that I finally got the humans to stop trying to pull me out of the den. If I go out on my own, it’s a lot more pleasant.

Monique: It is really nice getting all of those veggies your fans leave.

Junior: I hope they bring rutabagas this year. There was an awful lot of celery last year.

Juliette: Yeah. And it was still wrapped.

Monique: The flowers were pretty tasty too.

Gustav: All I have to do is walk out of the den, stand on my back legs for a few minutes, and come back in. As long as they get their pictures, everyone’s happy.

Tired groundhog | Jonathan D.-Casey | Flickr

Monique: And if you’re quiet, the rest of us don’t even have to wake up.

Juliette: Yeah, Dad. Quiet. Not like last year when you stepped on all of us.

Gustav: It’s dark in the den at the beginning of February. Besides, that wasn’t me. That was the goofy rabbit I paid to wake me up. I thought rabbits had good eyesight. He couldn’t tell which one was me.

Junior: It’s dark in here because we’re supposed to be asleep. How are you going to keep Herkimer quiet?

Gustav: Don’t worry. I’ll sleep closest to the door this year. Besides, I have the Internet now, so I don’t need Herkimer. I have my own alarm.

Junior: Let me make sure you set it right.

Gustav: Thanks, son. Put it at half-past dawn on the the second.

Groundhogs agree spring is early this year -

Gustav and his family settled in for their long winter nap. Before he knew it, Gustav heard the soft buzzing of his alarm. He carefully turned it off. Gustav got up and stretched. He was cold and sleepy. Hopefully this wasn’t going to take very long. He walked over to the edge of the den and looked out.

He saw some snow in the early light. It would be a little while before the humans showed up. He decided to have a snack and got one of the rutabagas. As he munched, he walked outside. He was surprised to see a line of hedgehogs surrounding his den.

A group of hedgehogs is called a prickle : r/aww

Gustav: Hi, guys. What are you doing here? You’re going to have to move. This is my big day to predict the end of winter. The humans should be arriving shortly.

Hedgehog: I’m Nigel and my buddy is Oliver. We brought some of our friends to protest your ceremony.

Gustav: Why are you protesting? My family’s been doing this for generations.

Nigel: We heard. And it’s not right. This is supposed to be Hedgehog Day, not Groundhog Day.

Gustav: That’s silly. Whoever heard of Hedgehog Day?

Join the Hedgehog Friendly Campus working group

Oliver: It’s not silly. You’ve stolen our day. It started with the Romans. If we come out in early February, it means spring is close. If you don’t see us, winter will last several more weeks.

Gustav: There aren’t any Romans around anymore.

Nigel: No. But some people still celebrate in Europe. It’s particularly popular in Ireland.

Gustav: You’re in Michigan, not Ireland. We celebrate Groundhog Day here. Now get out of my space.

Oliver: We’re not going anywhere. We’ve come to reclaim our holiday. And the treats that go with it. We’re not moving.

Next week: Will Gustav get the hedgehogs to move along so he can collect his Groundhog Day goodies?

Groundhog vs Gopher: 5 Key Differences - AZ Animals

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

20

The Bear, The Squirrel, and the Walnuts – Part 2

Colorado Bear Eats Huge Amount of Fermented Apples

Where we are: Sammy the Bear is taking a break from hibernation to have a snack. Unfortunately, he’s snacking on Gerald the Squirrel’s walnuts. And Gerald is not happy. Gerald’s friends have all run away in fear while he confronts the bear. You can read Part 1 here.

Watch this angry squirrel go nuts and flick its tail - Futurity

Gerald continued to chatter at Sammy. Sammy watched the squirrel while he continued to munch on walnuts.

Gerald: Bear, you have to stop eating our nuts! We worked hard to gather them, and they’re supposed to last all winter. They don’t belong to you. You’re a thief.

Sammy: You seem pretty excited Mr. Squirrel. I don’t really understand what you’re saying. Are you sure you don’t want any nuts?

Gerald: Yes, I want nuts! I want all the nuts! They’re mine! Go back to bed!

Tired bear is tired : r/gentlemanimals

Sammy stopped eating and scratched himself. He thought about going back to bed. He was still pretty tired. Maybe he should gather up the rest of the nuts and take them with him so he’d have them in the spring. He looked around for something to put them in. Winter was such a bother. It was cold, and everything was bare.

Suddenly, Gerald’s friends reappeared. They had a cardinal with them. They stood at the edge of the clearing and motioned to Gerald. He was too agitated to pay any attention. Finally, the cardinal flew over and chirped at Sammy.

Angeline lim on Twitter | Animals beautiful, Animals wild, Animals  friendship

Sammy: Hello, birdie! You’re so pretty! What do you want?

Cardinal: Sammy! It’s me, Francis. Remember me?

Sammy: Hey, Francis! Long time, no see. What have you been up to?

Francis: Not much. Been pretty busy with the family. You feeling okay? You’re supposed to be sleeping.

Sammy: Yeah. It was the weirdest thing. I got too warm and couldn’t sleep. Then I got hungry. Couldn’t find anything in the den, so I went for a walk.

Francis: This isn’t a good time of year to be looking for food. Everything’s still frozen.

Sammy: I found these walnuts. They’re excellent. I think I’m going to take the rest of them to the den.

Angry squirrel puts rail worker in hospital after carrying out vicious  attack on station - World News - Mirror Online

Gerald started sputtering.

Gerald: You are not taking the rest of my nuts, you big bag of fur! Go back to bed!

Sammy: Hey, Francis. Can you understand what that little squirrel is saying? He sounds really upset, but I can’t make out his dialect.

Squirrel party | This is a group of 4 red squirrel siblings:… | Flickr

Francis looked at the other squirrels. They nodded.

Francis: He’s a friend of those squirrels over there. They gathered these nuts for winter. This guy over here is trying to get them back from you.

Sammy: Oh, that makes a lot of sense. He’s been running around and screaming like a lunatic. I thought he might be having some kind of a fit. I didn’t think about who put the nuts here. Rats! I guess that means I can’t take the rest of them with me.

SQUIRREL TALK #by Alla Gill on prime.500px.com | Squirrel pictures, Cute  animals, Cute squirrel

Gerald: That’s right, furball! They’re mine!!

Wendy: Gerald! Calm down. He didn’t know they belonged to anyone. He wasn’t trying to steal them.

Randy: It sounds like an honest mistake.

Gerald: It doesn’t matter. He took our walnuts. I want a full apology and restitution.

Francis: I don’t think it’s wise to provoke the bear. He didn’t mean any harm.

Sitting Pretty: a grizzly bear plopped down on the snow. | Grizzly bear,  Bear pictures, Animals wild

Gerald sat and thought for a few minutes. Sammy was sitting on the ground, looking sleepy. He had stopped eating the nuts.

Gerald: I guess you guys are right. It’s not like he has anything to replace them with anyway. Francis, will you please tell him that we want the rest of our nuts back?

Francis: I’ll see what I can do.

sad sad bear | very depressing, zoos can be :( | Tam | Flickr

Francis went over to speak with Sammy.

Francis: The squirrels would like the rest of the nuts back.

Sammy: Of course. I feel badly that I ate so many. I wasn’t really awake and thinking. Please tell them that I’m sorry.

Francis: You can tell them yourself. They understand you; Gerald is just hard to understand when he gets that upset.

waving bear | Animals | Know Your Meme

Sammy stood up and waved.

Sammy: Sorry I ate your nuts, guys. I just woke up and was really hungry. Can I help you take them back where they belong before I go back to bed?

Hilarious photos show squirrels lifting nutty 'barbells'

The squirrels gladly accepted his help. Between all of them, it only took one trip to move the remaining nuts. It looked like there would still be enough for the remainder of the winter. As a thank-you, they gave Sammy a pawful to take with him. He happily headed back to bed.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

The Secret Life of Sleeping Bears - FOUR PAWS in US - Global Animal  Protection Organization

17

The Bear, The Squirrel, and the Walnuts

Could humans hibernate like bears? – The Hill

It had been a fairly warm winter, and Sammy Bear was restless. He tried shifting hibernation positions several times, but could not get back into a deep sleep. Finally, he decided to get up before he woke up his wife Sandra. He stumbled out to the front of the den and realized that he was hungry.

Winter means hibernation for some — but not all — of Kodiak's bears

Sammy rummaged around the den, but there wasn’t anything to eat. He looked outside. There was a little snow, but nothing to stop him from having a look around. He slowly walked out. He had never been out of the den during the winter before. It was very quiet in the woods. He didn’t really like the cold on his feet. Sammy hoped he could find something quickly and get back to bed.

Find Out What Bears Really Do In The Woods | Idaho Fish and Game

He sniffed the bushes. Nothing there. Not a leftover berry in sight. No grubs or bugs either. No wonder we sleep all winter, he thought. There must be something out here. He wandered a little further from the den. Suddenly his nose started twitching.

How Do Black Bears Respond to Wind? - North American Bear CenterNorth  American Bear Center

Nuts! He could smell walnuts. Sammy loved walnuts. He looked around and didn’t see anything. He walked toward the smell and discovered a rotten tree with a hole in it. He reached in and grabbed a pawful of walnuts. Bonanza!

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Black bears are common across many parts  of the United States. They are resourceful omnivores that eat meat,  berries, insects, nuts, seeds, plant roots, and pretty

Sammy ate several pawsful of the walnuts. They were delicious.

🔥 cute squirrel family : r/NatureIsFuckingLit

Meanwhile, Gerald Squirrel was conferring with his family.

Gerald: It looks like it’s going to be a good winter for us. Everybody’s healthy, and we should have plenty to eat.

Wendy: Yes, we were very fortunate that we found all of those nuts at the end of the season. They’ll last until the weather improves.

Sally: Do you think they’ll be safe in that old tree?

Gerald: I’m sure they’ll be fine. Everyone knows they belong to us.

Randy: I’d feel better if we brought them closer to the nest. You never know what might happen.

Wendy: He’s right. They are quite a long way from here. We should bring them closer to home.

Gerald: I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to move them. We don’t want to have to traipse all the way over there if we get a storm.

Late-Season Squirrels

The squirrels decided to spend the day moving their nuts. They raced over to the old tree.

Wendy: Do you see that? There’s a bear at our tree!

Randy: And he’s eating our nuts.

Sally: What are we going to do?

Gerald: We have to tell him to get away from our nuts.

Eastern Gray Squirrel Running Photograph by Philippe Henry - Fine Art  America

Gerald started to run up to the bear, but Wendy stopped him.

Wendy: Are you crazy? That bear will eat you next.

Gerald: Bears don’t eat squirrels.

Wendy: He might. He’s not supposed to be awake right now.

Randy: Yeah. He’s probably a crazy bear.

Squirrel II | Grey squirrel sitting up having noticed me. | Lawrence OP |  Flickr

Gerald hesitated.

Gerald: Do you think so? He doesn’t look crazy. He’s just sitting there eating nuts. Our nuts.

Sally: I think we should let him have the nuts.

Gerald: What are we supposed to eat? We worked hard getting those nuts.

Wendy: It’s not worth getting eaten.

Gerald: He’s not going to eat us.

angry squirrel - The Hollywood Gossip

The squirrels sat down and watched Sammy. He was certainly enjoying the walnuts. Gerald became more and more frustrated. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. Gerald ran straight toward Sammy, chattering wildly. The other squirrels watched in horror. Gerald stopped in front of Sammy.

Gerald: Look here, bear. Those are our nuts, and you have no right to them. Stop eating immediately!

523 Confused Bear Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Sammy looked at Gerald in confusion. He couldn’t understand a word the squirrel was saying. He had always been bad at other languages, and the squirrel was speaking very quickly. He could tell that Gerald was upset about something.

Sammy: Hello, little squirrel. What’s wrong? Would you like a nut?

PsBattle: These overly friendly bears : r/photoshopbattles

Sammy held out his paw with a walnut. Gerald didn’t know what to do. He looked at the other squirrels but they had disappeared. He was alone with the big bear.

Which is Worse? Senior or Spring Rates? - JJKeegan+

Next week: Can the bear and the squirrel be friends and share the walnuts?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.