The annual report generally involves a tall tale about Ted meeting the mysterious Eileen. Together they hike up a secret mountain — in a very roundabout way — to the fabled Pinecone Tree, where they receive “the word” about the upcoming winter. The long story is told with much flourish, as only Ted can do, and it ends as he pulls a number of pinecones from a bag.
Zero pinecones predict a disastrous winter, with 10 the absolute perfect winter. In the history of the Pinecone Report, there has never been a year with fewer than seven or more than eight and a half. But this year, Jane said, they waited with baited breath and counted slowly as he pulled seven, then a three-fourth size cone, then eight, and then an amazing ninth pinecone.
“Nine and three-fourths, wow … incredible … ye-haw,” we cheered, she said, as Ted smiled.
In the end, although much of the report is done tongue-in-cheek, he’s usually right. We’ll know by the end of March…