Yes I know the egg jokes on my Facebook page are wearing a bit thin, quite eggsasperating really 😀 but as it’s Easter I thought it was a good eggscuse to add a few here and post these pictures here as well. The first photo is an oldie but a goodie – it shows the Easter Bunny’s parents in what should have been a more private moment… 😉
One wonders if the eggs laid by the Easter Bunny (or rather, Easter Hen, judging from the above photo) might also produce a gorgeous little hatchling like the one below? I want one of these beautiful little critters!
Although, maybe when they grow up they could become something less endearing, flying through the air like the Monty Python killer bunny? …scary thought! 😀
Here’s another suggestion of where the Easter Bunny idea might have come from, taken from one of my previous posts. 😛
The Legend of Eostre (or… Why the Easter Bunny Lays Eggs)
As already explained, many southern hemisphere pagans celebrate Ostara in September, approximately six months after the northern hemisphere Ostara, Spring Equinox, and Easter. However, the symbolism of eggs, bunnies, hares, fertility etc are all associated with the Ostara sabbat whether in the north or the south so I thought it would be appropriate to explain how those connections are believed to have come about.
The modern belief that eggs are delivered by a rabbit comes from the legend of the Goddess Eostre. Eostre was walking one fine Spring day and came upon a beautiful little bird. The poor bird’s wing was badly injured and Eostre, feeling great compassion for the little creature, wanted to heal it. But the little bird’s wing was so badly damaged that Eostre knew it would never be able to fly again even after she healed it. So, Eostre decided to help the bird by healing it in a way that would give it mobility and a little something more… She turned it into a hare!
During the transformation, the hare retained the ability to lay eggs. The hare was so grateful to Eostre for saving its life that it laid a sacred egg in her honor, joyously decorated it and then humbly presented it to the Goddess. She was so pleased and so touched by the hare’s thoughtful gift that she wished all humankind to share in her joy. In honoring her wishes, the hare went all over the world distributing these beautifully decorated little gifts of life and continues to do so even today.
Over time, the story has changed a little, with the hare becoming a rabbit, giving rise to the “Easter Bunny” instead of the “Easter Hare”.
It is a fact however, that in real life, hares nest in what is known as a “form” — basically, a nest for bunnies. When the hares abandoned a form, it was sometimes taken over by plovers, which would then lay their eggs in it. The locals would then find eggs in the hare’s form, which further explains the bunny/egg connection with Easter and perhaps the origin of the legend itself.
Here’s a little more info to expand upon the final paragraph in my article above…
When a hare rests, it will usually scrape away the vegetation and then lie down on the bare earth. Where a hare has been lying, a shallow depression is made, which is a bit deeper and wider at the back than at the front. This is known as a ‘form’. (See photo at left) They are often made in the shelter of a grass tussock or a rock which will give some protection from the wind. Forms which are used to give birth to young may be lined with fur which the mother has plucked from her own fur coat.
Hares protect themselves in their forms by lying as still as a statue, tucked in close to the ground with their ears pressed flat along their backs. A hare will not move until the last minute before it is discovered, as its best defence lies in stillness and camouflage. (See below)
Another slight variation on the hare form idea is that European folklore about hares’ eggs may have stemmed from a confusion between hares raising their young at ground level and the finding of plovers’ nests nearby, abandoned by the adult birds to distract predators. Hares use a hollow called a form rather than a burrow. Lapwings nest on the same sort of ground, and their nests look very similar to hare forms. So in the Spring, eggs would be found in what looked like hare forms, giving rise to the belief that the hare laid eggs in the spring.
Above: a lapwing nest – looks a little different to a hare form to me, but the possible confusion is quite plausible.
Whatever their origins, chocolate Easter Eggs are YUM! …and I’ve eaten far too many of them over the last couple of days! 😀