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A Hoppy Tale: The Story of the Easter Bunny

April 1, 2021

Spring has fi nally sprung! One of the cutest trappings of spring is the Easter Bunny, which is the official mascot for this festive spring holiday. But who is the Easter Bunny, and where did these stories start? A vet discusses this historic—and adorable—mythical figure below.

H  istory

The Easter Bunny’s tale is shrouded in 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 another tale: the German Lutherans ‘Easter Hare,’ a bunny who determined whether children had been good or bad. The good kids got gifts of toys and candy, delivered by—you guessed it—a bunny carrying a basket. (It’s worth pointing out that bunnies actually can be very judgmental.)

Colored Eggs

Another Easter tradition that goes hand-in-paw with the Easter Bunny motif is that of colored eggs. As you may know, the egg in many cultures is associated with spring and fertility. Originally, the eggs were likely boiled with flowers to give them different hues. 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 actually spoil fairly quickly. Unfortunately, this won’t stop Fido from eating them.

March Hare

Before the Easter bunny came along, the March Hare entered the story. You may have heard the old 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 sometimes randomly punch each other, jump for no apparent reason, or just generally act a bit silly.

Bunny Adoption

We really can’t discuss the Easter Bunny story without at least touching on the issue of bunny adoption and subsequent rehoming. It’s still unfortunately very common for people to adopt rabbits as Easter gifts for children. Many people don’t realize that bunnies need to chew, and then get upset when Floppy gnaws on their things. This, sadly, ends up in scores of cute, innocent rabbits being rehomed a few weeks or months after Easter. Adopt responsibly! Don’t adopt a bunny—or any other pet—unless you’re committed to offering it great care for the rest of its life.

Happy Easter! Contact us, your veterinary clinic, anytime!

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