I grew up knowing a number of famous rabbits. Beatrix Potter’s, Peter Cottontail, The Easter Bunny, of course, and my favorite, Bugs Bunny with his famous “What’s Up, doc?” line. But bunny rabbits are not always there for fun and games.
My hunting father stripped the little beasts in our Illinois basement to prepare them for an evening meal. The German word for hare or rabbit is Der Hase. I vividly remember eating rabbit stew or hasenpfeffer for a family dinner as a young child. Looney Tunes produced a 1962 Bugs Bunny episode called Shishkabugs that played around with the fact that the king wanted Hasenpfeffer for his evening meal, so Bugs gets invited to dinner. (48) COOK! Bring me Hasenpfeffer!! – YouTube
I know some of you may be thinking, “ah, poor little fluffy bunny. Who’d eat that?” But do you remember the Monty Python scene with the fluffy little bunny? You need to beware that looks can be deceiving. (48) Monty Python Rabbit Scene – YouTube There is a gnarly rabbit sculpture in Nuremberg that illustrated the dark side of rabbits.
This monument, known as Der Hase is a tribute to the famous painter Albrecht Durer who lived and worked in Nuremberg. It specifically pays tribute to his natural history watercolor painting, Feldhase (A Young Hared). The sculpture was created in 1984 by Jurgen Goertz in a spirit of satire. Not everyone has been delighted with the portrayal. If you look closely, you will see the rabbit is crushing a man underneath it.
Whether you are a cartoon rabbit fan or prefer something darker and more sinister, this is the season where rabbits dot the stores and household baskets everywhere. I hope you are hopping on the bunny bandwagon for a little spring fun.