Easter Tidings

Bambi and Thumper in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Bambi and Thumper from Disney print

It’s the time of year to celebrate bunnies, those cute, brown eyed, long eared, bushy tailed bundles of irresistibility.  There’s Bugs Bunny (“What’s up, Doc?”), Ricochet Rabbit (you know, the fastest lawman in the West, Sheriff “Ping-Ping-Ping” Ricochet Rabbit), Bambi’s brown eyed friend Thumper (named for his habit of thumping his back foot), and last but not least, the infamous Easter Bunny.  What is it about these cuddly critters that we find so engaging?

Goddess Ostara (tumblr.com) in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http//agardenforall.com

Goddess Ostara (image from: tumblr.com)

As legend tells it, the Goddess Ostara (Oestre) was responsible for bringing spring each year.  One spring was particularly harsh, and Ostara found a tiny bird frozen in the snow.  The bird was revived in her arms, but no longer able to fly, so Ostara turned him into a rabbit, naming him Lepus.  Because he was once a bird, he retained the ability to produce eggs.  These were believed to come in an array of colors, and only laid on one special spring day each year. Thus began the history of the Easter Bunny.

Rabbits were thought to possess mystical powers, based on their fertility and reproductive abilities . . .

crowd-of-rabbits-svetlana-sewell in A Garden For All By Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Crowd of rabbits (photo credit: Svetlana Sewell)

Amazingly, female rabbits can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with the first.  Since rabbits and hares start reproducing in the spring, and eggs are also symbolic of fertility, it’s not surprising that the two entities became an important part of spring celebrations.  Dating back to the earlier 1800’s, German books featured bunnies and eggs, later evolving to a variety of edible bunny confections.  Based on German lore, good children received gifts of colored eggs in nests they made in their bonnets.  Americans began implementing these traditions by the end of the 19th century.

Bunny in Snow in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Is it Peter Cottontail?

So, my friends, join me as I partake of a few marshmallow Peeps, devour some Cadbury eggs and savor some gourmet Jelly Belly jelly beans.  Whether you believe the Easter Bunny is a hare or a rabbit, or if you even believe in him at all, the fact remains that spring is at long last here, and with it lots of furry, cotton-tailed friends hopping about helping to ring in this long awaited season.  Happy Spring and Happy Easter to you all~

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