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The case of the zombie groundhog

This story occurred about nine years ago. The identities of the human and dog featured in this story will remain protected, but both human and dog should be pitied. Encountering the Zombie Groundhog, or ZG, must have been the most terrifying experience ever.

In April of 2001, the Zombie Groundhog was sighted in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A 30-lb half-dachshund, half-Labrador dog, Glen*, had been let into his comfortable, suburban backyard. Contrary to Glen’s usual demeanor, he immediately started barking riotously, which prompted his owner, Cairn*, to investigate. Cairn first viewed the ZG as a joke; it was enormous (nearly the size of Glen) and stood as stock-still as a statue.

However, as she drew closer, she noticed critical aspects of its appearance: The fur seemed to be falling off in patches, almost as though it was slowly decomposing; the ZG’s eyes seemed unfocused and glassy; and the beast’s front teeth gleamed with brilliant intensity.

Initially, the ZG seemed content to simply stare down the valiant Glen, but Cairn’s approach drew the ZG’s interest. The discolored eyes lit upon Cairn’s delicate human flesh, and, in an instant, ZG had moved toward her. ZG was so quick, so violent, so bloodthirsty, that Cairn never even knew she was in danger. Luckily, Glen recognized the ferocity and leapt to his owner’s defense.

Glen and ZG scrambled for control, biting and clawing each other madly. As Glen fought to keep Cairn at his back, the combatants moved across the yard. ZG took pure pleasure from inflicting damage, snapping and snarling, biting and clawing. In desperation, Cairn saw an opening. She reached into the fray and wrenched the 30-lb Glen from fight. As her arm swayed under the pressure, ZG’s teeth whistled through the air, a hairbreadth from piercing Cairn’s (now delicately flushed) skin. As Cairn raced into the house, she heard ZG gnashing and clicking his teeth, hungry for her human flesh. The sound still haunts her to this day.

Cairn later admitted that she did try to find and capture the Zombie Groundhog, after placing Glen carefully inside to be tended by Cairn’s brother. She grabbed a pitchfork from the garage and walked outside to see the giant rodent, still cavorting about her yard, reveling in the damage done to her dog. She walked within two feet of the giant rodent, the pitchfork hefted in her hands. The giant zombie rodent’s eyes, black as hell and full of malice, stared at her, laughing and daring her to prove her pitchfork prowess.

She never received the chance. Cairn’s mother pulled her minivan into the driveway, and the ZG promptly scampered away. However, Cairn knew she would not have been able to pierce the decaying flesh of ZG; she, like most humans, was too soft-hearted to injure what could be perceived as an animal. If she would have been able to identify it as a zombie, maybe that would have made a difference. Luckily, her mother’s quick appearance likely saved her from a full-fledged ZG attack.

Glen was promptly examined by both a licensed veterinarian and by an authority on supernatural infections; he was declared fine on both counts. Though Glen did have multiple lacerations from the ZG’s heinous teeth, the supernatural expert declared that ZG had not penetrated Glen’s blood—brain barrier. If that had happened, Glen would have slowly turned into a Zombie Dog. However, the supernatural expert warned that the ZG did not need to break the blood—brain barrier to be dangerous to humans. Dogs could fight off low-grade zombie attacks; humans could not. If the ZG had even nicked Cairn’s skin, she would have become a zombie virtually overnight.

Although groundhogs may seem to be sleepy rodents, good for telling the weather, do not be fooled. Who knows if it may happen during hibernation, or if it occurs when every groundhog gets way too old, or if it is a virus that has since spread to Virginia…whatever the reason, be wary of any groundhog! Refuse to celebrate any holiday that might promote the spread of zombies…even Zombie Groundhogs!

*Names changed.
 

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