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Groundhog disrupts tours, restoration at Saginaw museum 8-07

Saginaw, Michigan -Tours at a 163-year-old home-turned-museum are sometimes disrupted by a grumpy groundhog. The furry critter’s digging has foiled some of the Saginaw Valley Historic Preservation Society’s attempts to refurbish the house on the city’s east side.

“We put in a walkway, and part of that collapsed due to Grumpy’s efforts,” preservationist Thomas Mudd told The Saginaw News.

Construction workers leveled a mound of soil that Grumpy the Groundhog had settled into, “but Grumpy still has his hole under the handicap ramp,” Mudd said.

Mudd’s latest tactic is to use fox urine as a groundhog repellent. But other efforts have failed to rid the pest in the past. Mudd tried evicting Grumpy with ammonia and mothballs, but the animal dumped the offending materials outside of his tunnel.

A few years ago, Mudd said he baited a trap with broccoli, caught Grumpy and took him to a wooded park near the Tittabawassee River.

“I waved good-bye to Grumpy, and I was so happy,” Mudd said.

Grumpy was back within a week.

“This is a game for Grumpy,” Mudd said. “Grumpy was almost happy to see me. We were back to the old battle.”

Despite the epic conflict, Grumpy has become something of a mascot for the Cushway House.

So adorable, in fact, that young students touring the building lose interest in the historical information once Mudd brings up Grumpy.

“I’ve learned my lesson not to mention Grumpy until the very last,” Mudd said.

Chippewa tribal groups have suggested that Grumpy possibly is the home’s protector spirit.

“It makes it tough to put the fox urine on him,” Mudd said.

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Information from: The Saginaw News, http://www.mlive.com
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