From the Burrow: ‘Spring-ing’ into Easter   Leave a comment

Editor comment: Once again, we’re handing over our usual SciSun post to Michonne, so she can tell one of her favorite stories (If we don’t let her tell a story she’ll only get upset and hide in her burrow, so we just let her have her way). Besides, stories are how marmots and other animals remember things from the past, and learn lessons of how to live every day; maybe we can learn something from the animal stories, too.


This is a story about Flower-time, the time men call ‘Spring’. It’s also a story about rabbits, and how now when we think of ‘Spring-time’, we think of rabbits. But I don’t know why men say ‘Spring’, unless it’s because sometimes rabbits ‘spring’ when they jump. Men have strange ideas.

Long, long ago, all animals lived together in the fields and forests. All the animals ate flowers and berries and grass and nobody bothered anyone else, much. Then one day a young rabbit named Larrli – who was very small but, somehow, always seemed to find herself in very big adventures – 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 things of man-work (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 saddest, sight, she had ever known.Cottontail curious WIKI

In the distance was a curious man-work that looked like rows of small, square caves on top of each other, and the entrance to each cave was blocked with wire. Inside every cave-thing were rabbits! and each rabbit was alone, behind the horrible wires no animal could chew through or escape from. There’s nothing worse to a rabbit than being trapped, and each of the cave-things looked just 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 be trapped in small caves. Larrli was hiding, as best she could, under the shrubs and in low spots on the ground, but she couldn’t leave without a closer look at these man-work-caves, and asking the rabbits why they wanted to live such a life.

The cave-traps 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. (Birds don’t usually think much about anything other than what’s right in front of them). Very carefully, as quietly as she could, Larrli hopped toward the rabbit-cave-traps and hid in the shadows, crowding close to 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.’

Rabbit hutch WIKI

Before I go on, you need to understand rabbits have always been very mischievous. Even when all the animals lived together, and were much like each other, if any trouble was to be had, it was probably had by rabbits; and particularly 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 quickly jumped away from the small caves and stacks of tree-pieces and all other sort of man-work, more than you can imagine (why do men need all those things??); and around the round white birds sitting on their nests who scattered in all directions, making odd ‘cluk cluk cluk’ sounds and confused as to 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 what all the clamor and noise was. After all, she couldn’t have been responsible for all this commotion!Cottontail looking back ADJ FWS

Rabbits were hopping through the meadow, kicking over man-work as they went. The round white birds with short sharp beaks were running to-and-fro calling out ‘cluk-cluk’ and ‘creek-creek’ and it looked like their faces were even redder than before. 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 the stacks of tree pieces around all types of man-works. A wolf-dog like the men usually keep was barking and howling (but probably tied with a rope so it wasn’t much to be afraid of). Everywhere was excitement and adventure!

What fun!’ Larrli said. ‘I will have to remember this every year and I, and all the rabbits in my warren, 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 Flower-time, which men call Spring-time, and one very special day named Easter.

But everyone knows that.Cottontail eggs WIKI

 – Michonne

Posted March 31, 2013 by Michonne Marmot in View From the Burrow

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