Thursday, 2 February 2012

Groundhog Day
The Viennese Way

Once upon a time,
I had my own personal groundhog.

We passed each other frequently
at the intersection of Democracy Boulevard
and Seven Locks Road,
Zip code 20854.

He would sit by the road, on the Cabin John Creek side,
and give me a regal wave with his right paw.
I wonder if anybody has seen him lately.
Today, perchance, on Groundhog Day?

There is no Groundhog Day in Vienna.
Austrian groundhogs prefer to live the high life,
- high as in high in the Alps -
and not a single one of them would be silly enough
to dig himself up through something like ten feet of snow
to check his shadow on the second day of February.
They rather brew themselves another pot of coffee or tea,
and wait for April showers to wash away the whole white mess.

There being no Groundhogs in Vienna,
therefore no Groundhog Day,
I had to invent my own little weather forecast game:
How about counting cakes instead,
I said to myself when I spotted a little merry-go-round,
ferrying cakes, round and round and round:
If the number of cakes passing is an even one,
winter will soon end!

If on the other hand,
the number is an uneven one
I shall go in and eat that culprit,
to make sure that winter will not continue
for six more weeks!
I was ecstatic about my ingenuity:
I felt like Don Quixote,
ready to saddle Rosinante attack
windmills with my Dulcinea sword cake fork.

A rather dizzying task,
as it turned out:
Those pesky cakes sped by so fast,
I had hardly time to push the shutter release button,
let alone count!
I must confess,
I failed. I failed the quest!

I forgot to count,
absorbed as I was to get ahold of a picture
of each of the cakes to document their number.

The cakes
passed by,

and passed

and again!
I was so exhausted from not-counting,
I could not even recall anymore
whether an even number meant
seven more weeks of winter
or instant spring!

I do miss the good old days
with my Very Own Groundhog:
A look and a light wave of my hand
was all it took back then.

Photographed at:
Aida Café Bognergasse, the snowballs;
and all those cakes, at
Café Weinwurm, Stephansplatz 11,
in the shadow of St. Stephen's Cathedral!

Images and text © by Merisi
First published 2009


  1. :) Nope. I haven't been over that way for a few weeks. But I will tell you that it's 50s & 60s (!) here & also I think Phil in PA is "helped" out of his hidey-hole.

    Those cakes look mighty fine. I know there's some terribly cold weather right now in parts of Europe. I've not checked Vienna, but I hope you're merely "regular" cold & not freezing.


  2. I, too, am left dizzy with all those glorious whirling cakes !
    So many exquisite choices -
    guess I'll have to take one of each.
    Just to help you sort it all out ;-)


  3. Just too much fun to count. I would eat all of those cakes and then there would be none. Winter would be over and we could walk once again in the sunshine.

  4. motion! Such exquisite yummy-licious cakes and such a wonderful story. (Love your attempted quest). So very happy Groundhog Day to you, and come by for some horsing around.
    (P.S. groundhog in 20854 -- how very charming.)

  5. I for one have never thought too much about Groundhog day and then I saw this post and I think that counting cakes is far more fun than watching the tellie to see if a groundhog shall appear...they actually have to pull one out of a hole...shame on them and I heard some 14,000 people showed up...NOT I. Now then, showing up for these little cakes, any of them look wonderful to me~

  6. Amazing grace...
    I mean cakes!
    very viennionese too

  7. The task you set yourself was formidable! I hope you went in and ate a cake anyway -- what WAS that green one with the fantastic meringue?


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