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Spring has officially spring! Easter is just a few days off now, and bunnies are taking center stage. Spring’s most adorable mascot is undoubtedly the Easter Bunny. But who is this legendary rabbit, and where did these stories start? A veterinarian discusses this historic—and adorable—mythical figure below.
The Easter Bunny tale is clouded in top-secret bunny mystery. Some people associate the folkloric furball with Eostre, the Saxon goddess of spring, to whom—depending on one’s source and, to some extent, opinion—hares may (or may not) have been sacred. A bit more recently, we have the German Lutherans ‘Easter Hare,’ a bunny judge who determined whether children had been good or bad. The good kids got toys and candy, delivered by—you guessed it—a bunny carrying a basket. It’s also worth pointing out that bunnies actually can be very judgmental, so this character isn’t far off from the truth!
Another popular Easter tradition that goes hand-in-paw with the Easter Bunny motif is that of colored eggs. As you may know, the egg is associated with spring and fertility in many cultures. Originally, the eggs were likely boiled with flowers. Nowadays, food coloring is usually used to dye them.
Easter egg hunts are still quite popular. They’re also a lot of fun for kids. If you host one, be sure to collect all the eggs. This is especially important if you have a dog. Boiled eggs spoil fairly quickly. Unfortunately, this won’t stop Fido from eating them. Your canine pal could end up with an upset tummy!
Before the Easter bunny, the March Hare entered the story. You might have heard the saying ‘Mad as a March hare.’ This is likely associated with the aggressive—and sometimes unusual—behavior that hares sometimes exhibit during their mating season. At this time of year, wild hares may punch each other, randomly jump around for no apparent reason, or just generally act silly.
We really can’t discuss the Easter Bunny without at least touching on the issue of bunny adoption. This is still a common problem at this time of year. People sometimes adopt rabbits as Easter gifts for children. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that rabbits need to chew to keep their teeth healthy. They then get upset when Floppy gnaws on their things. This misunderstanding sadly ends up in scores of cute rabbits being adopted around Easter, and rehomed shortly after. Adopt responsibly! Don’t adopt a rabbit—or any other pet—unless you’re committed to offering that animal love and great care for the rest of its life.
Happy Easter! Contact us, your veterinary clinic, anytime!