Check It Out: ‘Stories Rabbits Tell’ quite a tale

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Did the Easter Bunny visit your home today? He seems to have missed mine, but I’ll give him a pass because my cats, Rooster and Gracie, wouldn’t have shown much appreciation for his gifts of colored eggs and jelly beans anyway. Cats are funny that way. I, on the other hand, think the Easter Bunny really hops it out, and his non-Easter brethren, all gazillion of them, are pretty special, too.

Do we, as humans, really understand the cottontail world? I have to admit that my bunny awareness has been limited to the wild long-ears that frolic around our yard, the 4-H buns I check out each year at the Clark County Fair, and a unique fellow who freely cruised around a tile store in Portland while my husband and I shopped. Not only did this last bunny know how to use a litter box, he also liked to follow his owner around as she helped customers, and if he wanted to be picked up, he put his front feet on her leg, just like a dog. Now that’s buntastic!

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s anything more to a rabbit than just making more rabbits, “Stories Rabbits Tell” is a good place to start. Covering a wide range of topics — history, culture, business — the authors are very thorough in their examination of all things rabbit. I found it especially interesting that most cultures, at some time or another, have assigned symbolism to the rabbit. These symbols have included fortune — both good and bad — fertility, religion, trickery, arrogance and witchcraft.

What this book is not, is a guide to raising rabbits. The library has plenty of those if you’re interested. If instead you want a chance to peer into the very soul of a bunny, hop into the library and put this in your basket. Rabbits everywhere will thank you.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at readingforfun@fvrl.org. She blogs at youbetterreadnow.blogspot.com.