Spring has sprung! One of the cutest trappings of spring is the Easter Bunny, which is also the official mascot for the upcoming spring holiday. But who exactly is the Easter Bunny, and where did these stories start? A Fonthill veterinarian discusses this historic—and adorable—mythical figure below.
The Easter Bunny tale is shrouded in lots of bunny mystery. Some associate the folkloric furball with Eostre, the Saxon goddess of spring, to whom—depending on source and opinion—hares may or may not have been sacred. More recently, we have the German Lutherans ‘Easter Hare,’ a judge who determined whether children had been bad or good. 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 quite judgmental.)
Another popular Easter tradition that goes hand-in-paw with the Easter Bunny motif is that of colored eggs. In many cultures, the egg is associated with spring and fertility. Originally, Easter eggs were likely boiled with flowers. Nowadays, food coloring is usually used. Easter egg hunts are also still quite popular. 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 typically stop Fido from eating them.
Before the Easter bunny came along, the March Hare entered the story. In fact, you may have heard the saying ‘Mad as a March hare.’ This is likely associated with the aggressive—and sometimes unusual—behavior that hares exhibit during their mating season. At this time of year, wild hares may punch each other, randomly jump for no apparent reason, or just generally act silly.
We can’t discuss the Easter Bunny without at least touching on the issue of bunny adoption and subsequent rehoming. It’s still common for people to adopt rabbits as Easter gifts for children. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that bunnies need to chew, and then get upset when Floppy gnaws on their belongings. This, sadly, ends up in scores of adorable rabbits being rehomed a few weeks or months after Easter. Adopt responsibly! Don’t adopt a rabbit—or any other pet—unless you’re committed to offering it great care for the rest of its life.
Happy Easter! Contact us, your Fonthill veterinary clinic, anytime!