Happy New Year! It’s Chinese New Year today, marking the start of the year of the rabbit. In keeping with my tradition of welcoming the lunar new year with a themed list,¹ I present to you a bunch of rabbits:
- “rabbit, rabbit” A tradition of saying “rabbit, rabbit” first thing when you wake up on the first of the month to bring you good luck. I used to do this as a kid. I hadn’t remembered it in years. (Maybe my luck would have been better…)
- Bugs Bunny: a famous cartoon from the Looney Tunes/Warner Brothers. (What’s up, doc?)
- Binky and Bongo: somewhat less famous rabbit characters from Matt Groening’s comic Life in Hell. (Bongo is the one with one ear.)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) A movie combining live action and cartoon characters, one of whom is a rabbit.
- Harvey (1950) A movie starring Jimmy Stewart and a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit.
- Little Rabbit Foo-foo/Little Bunny Foo-foo. A folk song. …hopping through the forest. Scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head…
- The Bunny Hop: a conga-line type dance involving hopping
- Rabbits are popular anthropomorphic characters in children’s literature, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and others by Beatrix Potter, or Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown.
- Watership Down: a novel by Richard Adams about a very complex rabbit society. Complete with their own language. I’m quite fond of the Lapine words tharn (which is the feeling one gets of being a deer caught in the headlights) and hrair (which is a number larger than 4–rabbits can only count up to 4.)
- Other well-known stories feature a rabbit among other characters and species of creatures, such as Rabbit from A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books or the White Rabbit in Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland. There was also Thumper from Disney’s 1942 animated film Bambi. Br’er Rabbit: is a character from the traditional African American Uncle Remus folktales
- Other stories feature bunny-shaped toys, such as The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, or the more recent Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems.
- The Easter Bunny: a rabbit said to bring colorful eggs and candy for children on Easter.
- Here comes Peter Cottontail: a song about the Easter Bunny. (…hopping down the bunny trail…hippity hoppity...)
- Cheddar Bunnies: rabbit-shaped snack crackers.
- Welsh Rabbit: a kind of food that is not actually made from rabbit. It is a thick sauce, traditionally made with cheddar cheese and ale, and served over toast. (Here’s a sample recipe.)
- VW Rabbit: a kind of car, not traditionally made with cheddar cheese or ale.
- rabbit food: what some call salads and other raw vegetables
- rabbit’s foot: a good luck charm made from the foot of a rabbit (less lucky for the rabbit)
- rabbit ears: antennae for a TV, not generally made from the ears of a rabbit (lucky rabbits)
- Rabbits have appeared as mascots for products, especially in TV commercials, such as the Energizer Bunny (it keeps going), the Trix rabbit (Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.) and the Nesquik bunny (I have nothing to say about this rabbit.) For that matter, the logo of Playboy magazine is a stylized rabbit in a tuxedo. (I don’t have anything to say about that rabbit, either.)
- Finally, we must not forget that rabbits, while typically portrayed as docile, may have big pointy teeth.
¹ …with pigs in 2007, rats in 2008, and cows in 2009. Last year, I didn’t put up a list for the New Year, in part because I had put up my tiger list before, and in part probalby because I was busy with something else.²
² In fact I shouldn’t be doing this list now, as I have loads of other things I am supposed to be doing, but I can’t resist. So I will be quick like a bunny. And I will pull this rabbit list out of my…hat. I’ve tried to keep it short, but the bunnies seem to keep multiplying. (You know how rabbits are. Though I can’t help but notice that just about all of the rabbit characters on the list are male. You’d think that would make the breeding tricky…)