Saturday, December 08, 2007

As mad as a March Hare

... but in December

I have seen this little fellow about the yard early in the morning when I look out. Australia is well known for its rabbit (imported) explosion and the damage they unwittingly do to the land...but I had never seen a hare in real life before believe it or not.

Carl Jung - "Hare . . . not yet attained mature human stature . . . appears as the founder of human culture . . . the Transformer. This myth was so powerful that the members of the Peyote Rite were reluctant to give up Hare when Christianity began to penetrate the tribe. He became merged with the figure of Christ. "

Wikipedia - For other uses, see Hare (disambiguation).
"Jack rabbit" and "Jackrabbit" redirect here. For other uses, see Jack rabbit (disambiguation).
"Lepus" redirects here. For other uses, see Lepus (disambiguation).
European Hare (Lepus europaeus)

Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. (Four other species of leporid in the genera Caprolagus and Pronolagus are also called "hares".) Very young hares are called leverets.
They are very fast moving. The European Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) can run at speeds of up to 70 km/h (45 mph). Hares live solitarily or in pairs, whilst "a drove of hares" is the collective noun for a group of hares.
A common type of hare in arctic North America is the Snowshoe Hare, replaced further south by the Black-tailed Jackrabbit, White-tailed Jackrabbit and other species.
Normally a shy animal, the European Brown Hare changes its behaviour in spring, when hares can be seen in broad daylight chasing one another around meadows; this appears to be competition between males to attain dominance (and hence more access to breeding females). During this spring frenzy, hares can be seen "boxing"; one hare striking another with its paws (This is probably the origin of the term "mad as a March hare"). For a long time it had been thought that this was more inter-male competition, but closer observation has revealed that it is usually a female hitting a male; either to show that she is not yet quite ready to mate, or as a test of his determination. - (makes sense to me)

Folklore and mythology

"How to allure the Hare". Facsimile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of Phoebus (Fifteenth Century).
The hare in African folk tales is a trickster: some of the stories about the hare were retold among African slaves in America, and are the basis of the Brer Rabbit stories. The hare appears in English folklore in the saying "as mad as a March hare".
Many cultures, including the Indian and Japanese, see a hare in the pattern of dark patches in the moon (see Man in the Moon). The constellation Lepus represents a hare. There is evidence to suggest that there was some sort of taboo regarding hares in the Proto-Indo-European culture; this is especially notable due to the likelihood that the common word for hare, *kasos, which literally means "the grey one", was a euphemism for a previous and now lost word for hare.[citation needed]
According to Jewish tradition, hares are among four mammals deemed not Kosher.

And here is something interesting have a look on this site its the first I had heard of learn something every day.

The Three Hares Project is researching and documenting an ancient symbol of three hares or rabbits running in a circle and joined by their ears which form a triangle at the centre of the design. The symbol is a puzzle for each creature appears to have two ears yet, between them, they share only three ears.
The Project has revealed the motif to be an extraordinary and ancient archetype, stretching across diverse religions and cultures, many centuries and many thousands of miles. It is part of the shared medieval heritage of Europe and Asia (Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism) yet still inspires creative work among contemporary artists.
The images shown here reveal the beauty of the design in varied contexts. The accompanying text highlights the remarkable story of the three hares.

So he wasn't just a plain old hare at the bottom of the yard...


Sling said...

That woodcarving is amazing!..
Now I have to tell you a story...
When I was in the Black Forest in 1971,I noted what appeared to be a herd of small deer running across the rare open field.
I was looking at them from a distance of about 400 yards,and they were notable for their large antlers,and small stature...Turns out,as my more learned companion already knew,they were giant freakin' Hares!..I don't think I'm exagerrating when I guess they were 4 feet from the ground,to the tips of their ears!..I'll never forget that.

Anonymous said...

but was he hare-brained?

Ann O'Dyne said...

what are you rabbiting-on about?

the Rabbitohs aren't the Hareohs now are they?

actually I just love bunnies.