From the Burrow: An Easter Story   Leave a comment

Editor comment: We’re setting aside our usual SciSun post because Michonne said she had an important story that couldn’t wait! Stories are very important to Marmots and other animals, so here’s the story she has for us. Enjoy!

Today is the special day the men call ‘Easter’! It’s filled with treats and pretty colors and the men say it’s to enjoy the new flower-time and the warm sun and remember a very important man who lived long ago. Also, it seems Rabbits have something to do with it, but I don’t know why rabbits would hide treats and colored-eggs for men to find. In fact, I heard a different story. …

Long, long ago, all rabbits lived in the fields and forests with the other animals. One day a young rabbit named Larrli – who was very small but had a very big heart for adventure – decided to explore beyond, where none had been. She traveled a far, far way past the trees and into the flower-meadows where cows, and horses, and even more unbelievable animals live, different than any animals that live in the fields and forests; and she even came close to man-things (which are always dangerous, but sometimes exciting). Still, before trouble found her she thought it best to leave; but then she saw the strangest, and most sad sight, she had ever known.

In the distance was an odd man-thing of many small boxes and inside every box were rabbits! But each one was alone, behind the horrible wires no rabbit could chew through or escape from. There’s nothing worse to a rabbit than being trapped, and each of the boxes looked like a trap! But the rabbits inside were not in pain, just sad and lonely. Rabbits should run and play and sleep in the sun, not sit in boxes. Larrli was hiding, as best she could, under the shrubs and in low spots, but she couldn’t leave without seeing why these rabbits were there.

The trap-boxes were behind an area where round white birds with short sharp beaks and strange red faces were trapped behind wires, also. Larrli didn’t understand why the men would trap all these animals and keep them for who-knows-what, but the birds were sitting on nests and didn’t seem concerned even though they were trapped and should be afraid. Very carefully, on silent-furred feet, Larrli hopped toward the rabbit-traps and hid in the shadows alongside some old pieces of tree the men were keeping for some reason.

‘Are you trapped by the men?’ Larrli asked one of the rabbits. ‘No, I don’t think so – we live here’ the rabbit replied.

The men keep us for a time, but they also take us away and we never again see those they take. The men give us food and water, and usually leave us alone but it can get very scary here all day and at night.‘ Larrli had been a free wild rabbit all her life and although she didn’t completely understand, Larrli felt what this rabbit was saying could not be right or fair or good.

Would you like to run with me? Rabbits should not be behind wires. Rabbits should play in the fields and dig burrows and eat green grass.’

The men keep us in the wire-boxes’, said the trapped rabbit. ‘We wish we could dig and play and run, but that is not our life.’

Before I go on, you need to understand rabbits are very mischievous. If they are told they can’t do something, they will find a way to do it….

…And make it look like it was already that way before they had anything to do with it! And Larrli was one of the more mischievous rabbits in her entire warren. You’d never see a Marmot acting that way. Well, maybe sometimes.

And remember wires are impossible to bite through – any animal knows that – and it would take too long to chew through the wood – even for a Marmot, and we’re very good at chewing-though-things. But Larrli had an idea. On font of the wire-boxes were small wooden branches that could only be reached from the outside. She pulled on one and the box opened!

She quickly opened all the boxes! The rabbits were free!

They happily jumped away from the man-things and through the birds sitting on their nests who scattered, making odd ‘cluk cluk cluk’ sounds and not knowing why their nest-sitting was being disturbed. Some, birds and rabbits alike, knocked over cans of color the men had sitting around, falling on the nests and and turning the eggs many different colors and patterns. As the last of the rabbits happily jumped toward the fields and forest, Larrli looked back to see the results of her mischief.

Rabbits were hopping through the meadow, kicking over man-things as they went. Birds were running to-and-fro calling out ‘cluk-cluk’ and ‘creek-creek’ and all types of noises. Eggs, now in every color Larrli had ever seen and even some colors she’d never seen, were scattered and rolling under shrubs and between nests and behind man-things. A wolf-dog like the men usually keep around was barking and howling (but probably tied with a rope so it wasn’t much to be afraid of). All around was excitement and adventure!

What fun!’ Larrli said. ‘I will have to remember this every year and I, and all my friends, and everyone who enjoys an adventure can celebrate the Day of Rabbits and Colored Eggs.’

And that is the REAL story of how rabbits and eggs became a part of Easter. But everyone knows that.

-Michonne

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