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“Six more weeks!” Fido said.
“Um, six more weeks of what, exactly?”
“Six more weeks of being Fido!”
“Fido, what in tarnation are you talking about? I have a hunch you’ve been nosing around in The Chief’s catnip.”
“Hey hey hey hey!” Fido yelped.
“But seriously, Mr. Beeg, what is on your mind? What is the six weeks thing?”
“Nothing is on my mind on account of me being a dog. But I heard there was going to be six more weeks, if Ollie can come through.”
“Ollie the Marmot!” Fido howled. “He lives somewhere in the never-never land of ‘resort level’ and he has above-ground pals called Dweebs, and they give him reports.”
“Hmm, Fido, that kinda sorta sounds like Howard, if you ask me.”
“So let me get this straight, you big red lug. You know who Ollie is, but I don’t, and I know who Howard is, but you don’t. Right?”
“Ollie The Mammoth Marmot. If he gets up early on Feb. 2, and pokes his head up out of the snow, and if the sun is out, and if he sees his shadow, we get six more weeks!”
“Geez, Fido, six more weeks of what?”
“Six more weeks of me rolling in the snow! No early spring here. What’s in the forecast?”
“A-ha!” said I. “That’s where Howard comes in, you old knucklehead. Howard is on the radio. He tells us when it’s going to be sunny or snowy, rainy or dry, cold or mild.”
I checked the time and it was about time for Howard. Fido sat on his haunches, his right ear perked up like it does. Just like that, more or less, was Howard.
“He didn’t mention Ollie!” Fido said.
“It’s a bit early in the week,” I said. “I’ll bet you a dime to a biscuit he’ll give us an Ollie forecast before Saturday.”
“Really, Fido? Never mind.”
“OK,” Fido said. I could tell he was scrambling all this information.
“If Howard says it will be sunny, then Ollie sees his shadow, then we’ll have a nice long winter.”
“You got it, Fido. You nailed it!”
“And,” he said, “six more weeks of basketball!”
“At least,” I said.