Conversation with Rabbit

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar. I wondered, what do Rabbits think about that?

First, a bit of background. The Rabbit, or Hare as he is referred to in Chinese mythology, is “the emblem of longevity and is said to derive his essence from the Moon. The Rabbit symbolizes graciousness, good manners, sound counsel, kindness and sensitivity to beauty. His soft speech and graceful and nimble ways embody all the desirable traits of a successful diplomat or seasoned politician.”(1)

I asked to speak with a representative of the Rabbits. A spokesrabbit came forward, and told me,

“Year of the Rabbit – it is nice to be so honored. People only see that limited aspect of us, and do not comprehend our fullness. We are prey. For this we have been granted great fertility, and are held in high regard as signs of spring and new growth, although our season is all year.

“Tell the people to study us, for we have learned the skills of survival for our species. Our fur is warm and we give it gladly when needed. We do not like to be raised and bred just for our fur, though. We are a complete system that can nourish as well as warm. We have been used for experiments. This was not something of our choosing, although many of us have volunteered to sacrifice themselves in this painful way.

“When you take from us, give thanks, for we are living entities as are you. We harbor no ill will towards your kind.

“We hope to teach you about gentleness, and sensitivity. Think of how we are with our young, and how we sense and experience through our whiskers. Think of all we can hear with our long ears, and how we can remain motionless. It would be well for people to practice being motionless, even for short periods of time.”

Do you have a name? I asked. Rabbit said, “I do not give my name, for I speak for all, not just myself. Talk now to the ones you know.”

I asked to speak to Checkers and Sunny, resident rabbits at Sulphur Creek Nature Center. Checkers, a gray-spotted neutered male, said “I like it when the people come, especially the children. They need to see how gentle we are – and how we eat our vegetables! Sunny is bossy but I ignore her or stay out of the way when she is like that. We get along. We do not have the kind of relationship a male and female should, and that is a bit odd, but it’s okay. I do not have the drive to exert my maleness. I especially like it when children stroke my fur, and learn to be gentle. I can tickle them with my whiskers.”

What do you need, I asked? Checkers said, “Just keep the food coming.”

Sunny then came in. She is black, larger, and also neutered. “I would like to get out of here,” she said. “Being in education is nice, but I would rather be running around in the forest, nibbling on fresh green shoots and having babies. Checkers and I get along okay but some of the people are a little afraid of me. I’m not as gentle as Checkers is. I bite sometimes. I don’t want to be taken for granted. Ask me first. And more carrots, please.

“Tell the people to take heed,” she continued, “for all are part of the same web of connections. All are related. We just have different roles to play, different niches to fill. All are needed, all are important. We have great wisdom and distinct personalities tucked into these furry bodies.”

Checkers chimed in – “See? Isn’t she opinionated?”

Indeed, she does speak her mind. My thanks to Spokesrabbit, and to Checkers and Sunny, for sharing their thoughts and wisdom with us.

Source:
(1)http://www.theholidayspot.com/chinese_new_year/more_zodiacs/rabbit.htm

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"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi
"There is little that separates humans from other sentient beings – we all feel pain, we all feel joy, we all deeply crave to be alive and live freely, and we all share this planet together." - attributed to Gandhi
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