Easter Bunny Lore

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on April 1, 2012 0 Comments

With Easter only a hippity-hop away, I thought I might explore the world of the Easter Bunny.

Spoiler Alert: If you’re a staunch bunny believer, read no further and for heaven’s sake keep this issue away from children.

The whole idea of a rabbit bringing eggs and candy to children on Easter is German in origin. Rabbits, breeding as they do, have long been a symbol of fertility. Eggs are also symbols of birth and renewal. Even though rabbits don’t lay eggs, German kids bought the tale because it came with candy goodies. German settlers franchised the story throughout Europe, and eventually in America, where Americans, as is our wont, turned the whole Easter Bunny racket into a giant commercial enterprise. You name it, and if we can shape it into an egg or rabbit form, your local Easter Bunny can deliver it.

Are rabbits really hares? As far as Easter is concerned, we’re talking rabbits because a rabbit’s baby is called a bunny, whereas a hare’s young is called a leveret. You fathers might note that if you want to gift your child a live animal for Easter, make sure it’s a rabbit. While hares and rabbits both breed four to eight litters a year, with each litter having three to eight infants, a hare can actually get pregnant and start working on her second litter while still gestating the first one. This is known as superfetation — and is the reason Aussies twitch if you mention a hoppy animal with long ears. Because bunny rabbits are illegal aliens Down Under, they can’t bring Australian children Easter presents. Accordingly, Bunnies LLC has subcontracted the work to the bilby, an endangered marsupial with long ears.

(Full Disclosure: Neither the Marinscope newspapers nor this author has any affiliation with Bunnies LLC, though I will admit to having a thing for Mrs. Jessica Rabbit.)

Most people aren’t aware there is not one Easter Bunny, but thousands of bunnies that decorate, deliver and hide Easter eggs. (Even fewer know that if you leave a 10-spot within easy view, you will find a map the next morning showing exactly where those eggs are. Santa delivers all his presents in one 24-hour tour de force but purists claim his performance is magic assisted. Have you ever seen a reindeer fly? Bunnies can cover a fair amount of ground but you hop around for two hours and see how you feel about going around the world that way.

While many Easter bunnies stay on the job until retirement, a select few have gone on to bigger and better gigs.

The Energizer Bunny has been around since the 80s and looks great; many believe he’s had work done.

Leaping Bunny appears on products that are “cruelty-free,” meaning there was no animal cruelty in making the product as opposed to it’s cruel of your mom to make you wear that girlie sweater.

Harvey the rabbit made it big in the movies, starring with Jimmy Stewart.

Rabbit is Winnie the Pooh’s neurotic friend, the worrywart who tries his best to keep Pooh and Piglet out of danger.

Peter Rabbit is Beatrix Potter’s creation. I’m surprised this fellow ever made it into print as he’s an incorrigible thief. In one story Peter returns home nude. If Peter Rabbit were a movie it would fall into the “You can’t see this unless you are 18 or pay me $20” category.

• The Trix Rabbit is a walking miracle given that he’s had only a few bites of Trix cereal in over 50 years and is still alive and kickin’.

Bugs Bunny may be masquerading as a rabbit. I say this because his first movie was titled “Hare-em Scare-em.” Some consider cartoons a plebian, nonprofessional line of work. However, it pays extremely well — and Bugs boasts the only bunny star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Whatever you believe, I’d double-check that your homeowner’s insurance policy covers you for liability should the Easter Bunny get hurt on your premises. Those bunnies are a litigious lot.

This Week’s Ponder: Is it animal profiling to assume a horrible smell is skunk-related? Can you be cited by PETA for thinking that?

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