Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Ideas are like rabbits.

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnsteinb121626.html#qWvbSQoKB2s5QXZ6.99
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnsteinb121626.html#qWvbSQoKB2s5QXZ6.99
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnsteinb121626.html#qWvbSQoKB2s5QXZ6.99
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnsteinb121626.html#qWvbSQoKB2s5QXZ6.99
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnsteinb121626.html#qWvbSQoKB2s5QXZ6.99
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnsteinb121626.html#qWvbSQoKB2s5QXZ6.99
You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
                ~John Steinbeck

Here comes Peter Cottontail...ever wonder why the rabbit is the spring symbol?  Why we eat ears off that foil-wrapped chocolate rabbit and not the tail off a chocolate robin?  And, did you know hares and rabbits are not even in the same family?
The difference between rabbits and hares appears at the moment they are born. Baby rabbits are called kittens while baby-hares are called leverets. Rabbits are born completely helpless, naked and blind. Hares are born fully furred, able to see and capable of independent movement. Hares can live on their own after one hour from they birth! Their mothers feel free to leave them on the bare ground and hop away soon after the baby is born.  Talk about being on your own!
Rabbits' mothers are much more careful and protective to their children. They line nests with grass, bark and soft stems. Over this, they place a layer of hair plucked from their own bodies. When rabbit-mother leaves the nest, she covers the bunnies with more hair and dead plants to keep them warm and hidden from enemies.
My research uncovered that the German Lutherans had an "Easter Hare" that judged the children at Easter time.  The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682.  A springtime version of a Santa, I suppose.  If children were good, they would get treats. 
The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. In ancient times it was widely believed  that the hare was a hermaphrodite. The idea that a hare could reproduce without loss of virginity led to an association with the Virgin Mary, with hares sometimes occurring in illuminated manuscripts and Northern European paintings of the Virgin and Christ Child.
It may also have been associated with the Holy Trinity, as in the three hares motif.  This is from a church in Germany, Dreihasenfenster (Window of Three Hares) in Paderborn Cathedral in Paderborn, Germany.
Additionally, according to legend, "a young rabbit who, for three days, waited anxiously for his friend, Jesus, to return to the Garden of Gethsemane, little knowing what had become of Him. Early on Easter morning, Jesus returned to His favorite garden and was welcomed by His animal friend. That evening, when Jesus' disciples came into the garden to pray, they discovered a path of beautiful larkspurs, each blossom bearing the image of a rabbit in its center as a remembrance of the patience and hope of this faithful little creature."
Rabbits and hares are both prolific breeders. Female hares can conceive a second litter of offspring while still pregnant with the first.  They mature sexually at an early age and can give birth to several litters a year (hence the saying, "to breed like rabbits").  So, for many reasons, Peter Rabbit fits nicely into the spring fertility rites!
And, feel free to burst into song!
 
"Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail
Hippity hoppin', Easter's on its way
 
Try to do the things you should
Maybe if you're extra good
He'll roll lots of Easter eggs your way
 
You'll wake up on Easter mornin'
And you'll know that he was there
When you find those chocolate bunnies
That he's hiding everywhere!"
 
 

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