Spring has sp rung! One of the most popular trappings of spring is the Easter Bunny, which is the official mascot for the spring holiday. But just who is the Easter Bunny, and where did these stories start? A veterinarian discusses this historic—and adorable—mythical figure below.
The tale of the Easter Bunny is shrouded in bunny mystery. Some associate the folkloric furball with Eostre, the ancient Saxon goddess of spring, to whom—depending on source and opinion—hares might or might not have been sacred. More recently, we have the German Lutherans ‘Easter Hare,’ a rabbit judge who determined whether children had been good or bad. The good kids got toys and candy, which were delivered by—you guessed it—a bunny carrying a basket. (It’s also worth pointing out that there is at least a grain of truth here: bunnies actually can be very judgmental.)
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 likely were colored by being boiled with flowers. Nowadays, food coloring is usually used. Easter egg hunts are also still quite popular today. 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. This could make your pup a bit sick.
Long before the Easter bunny came along, the March Hare entered the story. You may 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 punch each other, randomly jump around for no apparent reason, or just generally act a bit silly.
We really can’t talk about the Easter Bunny without at least touching on the issue of bunny adoption and subsequent rehoming. It’s still very common for people to adopt rabbits as Easter gifts for children. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand that bunnies need to chew, and then get upset when Floppy gnaws on their things. This, sadly, results in scores of cute 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 veterinary clinic, anytime!