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“Billy the Beaver” SEES HIS SHADOW!

After giving this some deep, considered thought (for at least a couple minutes, or so), I’ve decided Bluffton needs a — drum roll…: “village pet!”  And not just any pet. But rather, a “signature pet,” if you will.  One that is not only cute, endearing, all that; but one that will bring in A LOT of money!

And, frankly, if the following wouldn’t be an absolute ‘Bluffton business boon’ around more tourism, I, frankly, don’t know what would be!  But first, a preface…

As noted in an article last edition, “Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog,” year in and year out, gets a lion’s, ‘er rather a hog’s share of the attention on Feb. 2 for that ‘…seeing his shadow, or not, deal.’

But Phil isn’t the only groundhog in town (read: the nation), so to speak.  Ohio, unbeknownst to many, has its own groundhog, which is trotted out to see his shadow, or not, on Feb. 2 as well.  He’s called: “Buckeye Chuck.”  I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP!

While Phil draws over, say, 10,000, or more, tourists that day, and nationwide media.  Chuck draws at least several thousand tourists to Marion, Ohio each Feb. 2 for the groundhog festivities there.

Now, who says only groundhogs can see, or not see, their shadows on this day?  NO ONE!  So…

What if we in Bluffton tell the world that BEAVERS can see their shadows, or not, as well.  And we could call our beaver (Wait for it…) “Billy the Beaver.”  I mean, it’s got the same consonance-sounding thing going on as Punxsutawney Phil.  And both are, basically, categorized as big hairy rodents. 

If this is marketed right, the Bluffton downtown merchants could, again, experience a BLUFFTON BEAVER BUSINESS BONANZA, with an exponent!  Stay with me on this.

Punxsutawney, for instance, sells “Punxsutawney Phillsner” in their taverns.  Well, the taverns here could sell “Billy Beer.”  Oops. I forgot Jimmy Carter’s brother has the market cornered on “Billy Beer.”  So, uh, how about: “Billy’s Beaver Brew”?

Punxsutawney really plays up the groundhog thing, with colorful groundhog sculptures on some downtown corners, groundhog souvenirs in the shops…  Well, I mean, we could do that with beavers!

What’s more, ‘ole Phil really doesn’t live in a small cave on top of Gobbler’s Knob.  That’s just a one morning thing. He actually lives in a tricked-out, temperature-controlled big terrarium in Punxsutawney’s Town Hall – with his wife, “Phyllis.” Seriously!

This, needless to say, brings tourists to Punxsutawney year-round — just to get selfies with Phil, then buy some Phil souvenirs, get a mug (or two) of Punxsutawney Philsner, and so on.

Has anyone noticed how big the foyer area is in Bluffton’s Town Hall?  That’s right, “Billy,” and his wife, “Bertha,” could live in a nice, tricked out, temperature-controlled terrarium there. And, for instance, this newspaper’s nature columnist, “Mr. B,” could regularly check in on both of them.

If this all works out, all I’m asking is, like, a cut on the Beaver Brew sales.  LOL.  Lots Of Lager!