Tag Archives: rabbit

We’re all mad here…

March is a new month, and I like to freshen up the old website on a monthly basis. While I don’t feel the need to reflect the month every time, on occasion it’s fun. What can you say about March? It’s usually a muddy mess here. This brings me to the hare.

March is the breeding month for old world hares. The season actually extends both directions past March, but that’s the popular belief and I’m going with it.

The old saying I remember is, “Mad as a March Hare.” Others have used, “Brainless as a March Hare.” So apparently old Bugs gets kind of offbeat during the mating season. They run around and chase each other, for the obvious reason. They stand up and box. They also sometimes randomly jump and do weird flips. In the rabbit circle, these jumps are called binkies.

But wait; rabbits and hares are actually different creatures. They’re related to each other, and look similar, but they’re different too. About the only fact is they’re both rodents, but so is a beaver and nobody gets him confused. As we’ve moved away from an agricultural way of life, they’re all just bunnies now. Bunny is a term of endearment, and not a proper name.

In general terms, rabbits are born blind and hairless. They live underground and are built more compactly to accomodate this lifestyle. A rabbit’s best defense is to hide from you. They like softer food like grasses and your vegetables. Rabbits make good pets.

Hares are longer and leaner. If you look at him, he’s built for speed. He generally has bigger feet and longer ears. Hares are born fully furred and can see from day one. They are capabable of moving about an hour after birth. Their fur is generally tipped in black. They nest above ground. If he see’s you, he’s going to run. While there is some crossover in foods, hares are more browsers than rabbits. Hares are more likely to go for bark, the tips of branches, or leafy shoots. Hares are the ones that kill your trees in tough winters. Hares do not make good pets. They aren’t named after the fact that they have hair from birth. My research says it’s actually a twisting of a German word meaning grey.

If you think about life above ground, running is a decent way of staying alive. When you have a handy burrow, or warren if you’re being proper, you don’t need to be as fast.

Now it gets crazy mad.

Jackrabbits are actually hares.

Cottontails, which nest above ground, are still in fact rabbits. Some cottontails have black tips to their fur – still rabbits.

The March Hare, from Alice in Wonderland, is usually illustrated with straw on his head. This is because that was a popular way of illustrating the mentally deficient way back when. I have no idea why this came to be. If you know, tell me in the comments.

If he turns white in the winter, he’s a hare. Not all hares turn white. The blacktailed jackrabbit, which is a hare, does not turn white in the winter. The whitetail jackrabbit, still a hare, does turn white. No rabbits turn white in the winter.

Out west, when something or someone runs, we call it jackrabbiting. But all jackrabbits, regardless of species are hares. Hares tend to run, get it?

Both rabbits and hares have a hare lip. Why make the hare the example? I have no idea.

Rabbit is so good to eat that it’s actually commercially raised for that purpose. You can choke down a hare if you’re in survival mode, but wouldn’t order it on purpose.

We use many terms dating back to the hare in our modern language. Most folks forget where they originate. I’ve aleady mentiontioned the hare lip, but in basketball we have March Madness. There are March Madness sales at stores too. The tortoise, which is not a turtle, did not race a rabbit he raced a hare, which may have been a jackrabbit, which is still actually a hare.

So for March, “We’re all mad here.”

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A Fair Day’s Work

I got to the cabin earlier than the other days this weekend. Tomorrow I have to live in the real world, but today was all about writing.

As I headed up the steps, Lisa* my assistant was struggling with a pile of cardboard boxes. Even in the shadows, her silhouette showed a striking figure. Sometimes things just strike me, an image, a short article, song lyrics. I need to pay more attention to those times.

I took some of the boxes and asked, “What’re these for?”

“I have to back myself up today. Bunny likes to play in them, and I won’t have to worry about him for a couple hours,” she said.

We took them to the lobby. It’s really a living room, but it makes me feel more professional to call it a lobby.

She made a big cardboard heap and fetched Bunny. She sat him down and he started right in burrowing and chewing up the cardboard. Lisa hard wired herself to the computer system. “I’ll be busy for a couple hours, I’m using multiple cloud systems these days. Are you going to need anything?”

“No, I’ll be fine.” I watched Bunny for a few more minutes. There’s just something about a 30 pound lop eared rabbit that draws your attention.

I went in my office, and booted up the Mac, gave Doubt*** the raven a big slice of the gross scrapple from the other night and started reviewing the last four pages of my current story.

He stayed surprisingly quiet. I think Lorelei** told him to leave me alone when I’m writing a first draft. Still, the words weren’t quite coming. The image of Lisa on the stairs stayed with me, it was kind of film noir and fell somewhere between sexy and menacing.

I turned off the Mac and grabbed my iPad along with a little Bluetooth keyboard. I sniffed the blanket on back of the couch, but it smelled like dwarf and cows. I rummaged through the closet until I found my Dr. Who blanket. I grabbed the coffee carafe on my way to the basement.

I looked around for the dankest darkest corner I could find. There was a tiny three legged milking stool that was perfect for what I had in mind, and I set up shop there, using an overturned bucket for a desk. I found the bell jar holding the Will ‘O the Wisp and set it up in front of my new workstation. It gave off an eerie green glow that was just about perfect.

The place smelled of mold and my breath left little clouds that faded away. I wrapped up in the blanket. Bats hibernated along one wall, and spiderwebs weaved through shelves of previous story elements.

“Now this is perfect. Patty’s going to hate this part of her story.”

The words flowed. The sound of a distant drip told me it was thawing outside, but it added another nice element to the mood. A troop of forgotten army ants passed through. I lifted my feet and told them to keep moving, they weren’t going to be in this story. Still the words kept coming.

I wrote until I got a low battery warning. I considered looking for an outlet when I heard Lisa’s heels on the steps.

“How’d you find me?” I asked.

“Infrared vision,” she said. “Are you alright?”

“Better than alright. Look at this word count: 15,721. That’s nearly 3000 words today.”

“But are they good words? You always said that’s important.”

“I think the bit from Saturday’s a little better, but you can’t fix words that don’t exist. Besides, the Raven of Doubt will let me know.”

“So are you about finished? Do you want me to make you a sandwich?” She asked.

“I think I am, and a sandwich sounds great. In fact, let’s surprise the beer horns with an early beer time.”

We went upstairs and I made a fire in the fireplace. I was a good weekend effort. Lisa was happy, Bunny was happy, the drinking horns, even Doubt the raven were all happy. It was a good weekend. I’d hit it hard, but it was time for the real world once again.

* Lisa is a character from a previous story. She’s a robot, and helps out around the cabin.
** Lorelei is my Muse, and tries to keep me creative.
*** I’m not really sure what Doubt is. Lorelei left him for me, but he looks like a raven.

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