Hare-Brained Scheme Alert! – Announcing Punxsutawney Phyllis’s Birthday Bonanza!!!

La la la…

illustration copyright Jeff Ebbeler 2005

So, there I was, tootling along, minding my own business, driving to my author visit yesterday and humming my homemade Phyllis song in a most tuneful hummy kind of way when


I suddenly realized two things:

1.  Groundhog Day is a mere 11 days away!




My little furry friend is going to be in double digits! *sentimental sniff*


What kind of mother am I???!!!  *gnashing of teeth and extended period of self-recrimination*

Instant panic set in.

Not good whilst you are driving and unable to do anything but drive.  A spoonful of panic makes the accelerator go down VRRROOOOOOM!

“Where!” (I fumed) “is my talented and versatile personal assistant who appears like magic at my beck and call to take down notes and implement my thoughts whilst I drive???!!!”

Darn it all.

I don’t have one.

But luckily I have a mind that is prone to hare-brained schemes. . .

And so.

I made a plan!

And you are all welcome to join me, and I truly, deeply hope you do, because it will not be any fun at ALL if it’s just me and that will make Phyllis sad! (And Sad Phyllis is not fun to hang out with!)

Here’s the deal.

We shall have Phyllis’s Birthday Bonanza!  (That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?)

And for it, we shall all write a poem in honor of Phyllis!

I’m thinking maybe An Ode To Phyllis… or a limerick 🙂  or if you’re really ambitious, a combination of the two 🙂  A sonnet would be nice, if you’re feeling Shakespearean.  Or perhaps a haiku or two about the Natural Wonder that is Phyllis the Groundhog.  Really, Phyllis is not picky, as long as it’s a poem… about her… 🙂

I feel certain that this will result is some poetry the likes of which the world has never experienced.  *snort*

Ah, but the fun shall not end there!

I mean, it CAN end there.  If you are inspired to write a poem for Phyllis, post it on your blog or in the comments on the Birthday Bonanza post, and leave it at that, that will be lovely and Phyllis will send you warm furry brown hugs.


For those of us who wish to take it to a further level… (Erik… who has been asking to make a video for like a year now… :))

Download, print out, cut out, and color Phyllis from HERE (or dig the one you made for Phyllis’s Fun Fashion Show or weather predicting Phyllis out of mothballs.)  (Teeny hint – a popsicle stick stuck to her back works great for puppeteering and/or propping up purposes!)


Video your Phyllis doing a dramatic reading of your special poem!

We will be especially appreciative of creative backdrops, clever costumes, or singing 🙂

Unless you’re channeling Samuel Taylor Coleridge and writing the Rime of Phyllis The Ancient Mariner (or something equally appallingly long) your dramatic poetry reading should probably fit into a video of a minute or two or so (or less – we’re going for entertainment value, not length :)) so it doesn’t have to be a huge production.  And you can hopefully do it pretty easily with your computer or your phone – nothing too film-industry-specific required.

Then on Monday, February 2nd, Groundhog Day 2015, in celebration of Phyllis’s 10th Anniversary, I shall put up the official Phyllis’s Birthday Bonanza post (yes, of course there will be cake! I can’t believe you even asked that!) and you can all put your post-specific links on the link list (or post in the comments, or email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you if you can’t post in the comments – susanna[a]susannahill[dot]com or handy email me button in the sidebar) and we can all visit each other and party in honor of Phyllis, loveliest of lovelies, marmot extraordinaire!

And there will be presents!  For you!  Which I am still working on thinking up because, like I said, I just thought of this and I wanted to give you as much time as possible to prepare your Phyllis Poem & Video.  There might be some kind of voting process… or there might not.  Like I said… still thinking 🙂

So I am sincerely hoping that this sounds like the kind of hare-brained scheme you can get on board with!  Teachers and classes are welcome to join the fun too!  Anyone who loves Phyllis 🙂

Phyllis is wild with excitement  and says she will make strawberry pie for everyone while she’s waiting!

Looking forward hopefully to the fruits of your creative talents!

Let the wild poetry writing start!!!!!

50 thoughts on “Hare-Brained Scheme Alert! – Announcing Punxsutawney Phyllis’s Birthday Bonanza!!!

  1. Beth Stilborn says:

    FANTASTIC idea! (Although I sorta kinda think it should be called a GROUNDHOG-brained scheme, in honor of the occasion.) I shall put my Viking Helmet-shaped thinking cap on and try to come up with something. (10 years? Wow.)

  2. Joanne Sher says:

    I LOVE your hare-brained scheme! I will definitely be pondering a poem suitable for the amazing Phyllis (though I will not likely be videotaping anything). Gotta get some of that strawberry pie!

  3. Robyn Campbell says:

    I (and Mr. Ed) were very suspicious of an out-of-the-ordinary THURSDAY post from Sus. His (Mr. Ed.'s) eyes crossed and his ears had that funny little twitch. We stared at one another and proceeded to read this most ODD Thursday post. I rubbed my chin as Mr. Ed (who reads way faster than me) nudged me to scroll down. After coming to the end, Mr. Ed neighed, “Sounds just like Sus. That hare-brained scheming woman.” I nodded in agreement. He (Mr. Ed) has consented to write a poem for his good friend, Phyll (his nickname for her, as you well know). He wants me to film the thing. I did tell him I would put it on my blog and enter it as mine since (poor mistreated horse) DOES NOT have his own blog. He has reminded me at least a zillion times that he needs a following. I have a picture book in the making about him. He urges me to finish it asap. “NEIGH!”

  4. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    WOOOO!!! VIDEO TIME!!! 😉 And Singing!!!! (be fore-warned – because my voice is changing, I will likely sing off tune)! WOOO!!!

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    YAY! I'm thrilled, Donna! Phyllis is thrilled! She is jumping up and down on the bed with uncontrollable excitement! 🙂 (And yes, Robyn and Mr. Ed are hysterical, and if their past performance is anything to go by, this should be tons of fun!!!)

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, YAY! A doodle is way as good as a video! Phyllis loves the stamp you made of her and CANNOT WAIT to read your poem and see your doodle. She is already bragging to everyone else about it and it hasn't even happened yet!

  7. Virginia Rinkel says:

    First time I've been to your site! Wow! You are one talented lady. Not a poet, but you have such great imagery, that there must be some place for 'Phyllis Art', which could accompany my chestnut characters, who are just beginning to form and take on a life of their own. Thanks for your posts. Will keep checking on you.

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It certainly will be, Donna! And you are welcome to join the festivities with your own celebratory drawing of Phyllis even if you don't want to write poetry or do video. Phyllis is happy with any form of homage 🙂

  9. JulieSwitzerland says:

    Well, how exciting! A birthday….with birthday cake! Phyllis's Birthday Bonanza sounds good fun….will need to do a little groundhog researching on this tradition of yours! 😉 Congratulations on you too Susanna, 10 wonderful years with your little Phyllis! Ahhhh

  10. Christie Allred says:

    My library has some of your other pbs, Susanna, but not this one. I hope I can do Phyllis justice on her 10th anniversary even though I have limited information about her. I love participating in these fun events. 🙂

  11. Kimberly Cowger says:

    I have to time or talent for video, or poetry really for that matter, but I think perhaps I can manage a haiku in honor of Phyllis's Birthday Bonanza!

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Gosh, Christie, PHYLLIS is usually the title libraries actually have! Sorry yours doesn't 😦 The gist of the story is that Phyllis wants to be Punxsutawney Phil, but all the other groundhogs tell her she can't because she's a girl. But Phyllis perseveres, trusting in her weather sense, and ends up proving all the boys wrong. In case that helps you at all 🙂

  13. Michelle Kogan says:

    Susanna, I'm still laughing from your post! Almost mist it but went to check your Friday post today and saw this one about rip-roaringly funny Phillis, hmmm maybe that's the beginning of the poem. Thanks again, I hope to have something to add to your Phyllis Bonanaza…

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