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Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather haven’t forgotten the reason for the season: Bunnies. We enjoy a discussion of the many powerful symbolic resonances of the fecund rabbit, the tricky hare, and the cute bunny. And we sate our hunger on a brace of coneys.
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- The Runaway Bunny — Wikipedia
- Hare on Wikipedia
- “Bunny” in the Online Etymology Dictionary
- Bean Bunny
- Playboy Bunny
- Watership Down — Wikipedia
- “I know thee not, old man: fall to thy prayers”: Henry IV Part II, 5.5
- “There’s only one way to eat a brace of coneys.”
- Rabbit Sounds
I have yet to listen to the podcast, but I will, because bunnies are adorable.
Rabbits often make cute little squeaking noises, but if they are in extreme pain or agitation they can emit loud screams not unlike a child in distress. According to various sites in the Google search I just did, many rabbits never scream, or only scream once or twice in their lives. My last house was near a nature reserve, and I was woken in the night several times by wild rabbits screaming near my house. It’s pretty terrifying. Just another thing that adds to the strange and mysterious horror aspect of our cute and cuddly, floppy-eared friends!
From what I can find quickly (to avoid wondering about the classification of egg-bearing rabbits), it seems that the Aztecs and ancient Chinese both looked at what we mostly call The Man in the Moon and saw a rabbit cooking food, which…yeah, I can actually see. Lower-right quadrant, two ears to the right of a large utensil.
More directly relevant to the episode, parts of North America and Africa shared a tradition of trickster gods who sometimes posed as rabbits, while Greeks and Medieval Europeans thought hares were hermaphrodites who could reproduce without losing their virginity, which is…innovative, I guess?
So, yeah, symbolically weird long before the Lutherans get to the anthropomorphic rabbit who breaks into houses to lay eggs for kids.
In college I wrote a poem that was just about rabbits in pop culture. You guys hit nearly ever rabbit on my list except Frank from Donnie Darko and Harvey from Harvey.
Listening through my backlog of podcasts I came to this and I find it interesting that you find the Bunny story to be cute and endearing rather than creepy as fuck. That mother really needs to let her kid have some space…
I think the kid is meant to be 4 or 5 rather than, you know, 14 or 15…
Friends of mine with kids have a book along similar lines, but the premise is much more mundane than fantastical and, therefore, far creepier than it is sweet. It’s about a mother who gives pretty much the same speech to her baby about love lasting forever. Then she follows the kid throughout his life and eventually–no exaggeration–peeks in the windows of the home he’s making with his family…
The Giving Tree is another take on the same idea
The Giving Tree is so messed up. I used to think a lot about what a sociopath the boy is, and how the story trains kids to expect unconditional love and support in exchange for eff-all. But can we consider the story from the point of view of the tree? The lesson is, if you love someone who doesn’t love you back, destroy yourself for him, over and over, without complaining… and if it stopped there (like that Oscar Wilde story with the statue), that would be bad enough. But oh, friends, the ending! The “happy” ending!
IF you brutalize yourself in the name of love for juust long enough, then the object of love will get brutalized too! Offscreen, by life, but it will happen! And then, when he has been made wretched, THEN he will begin to love you. Because after all that’s what a piece of garbage like you deserves, isn’t it? The love of a wretched person.
It’s SO messed up.
Yeah, it’s about being a parent