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Tales From the East Pole

©R. Newman 2001

Did you ever wonder where the Easter Rabbit lives?

This is the story of the East Rabbit and how he came to be known as the Easter Rabbit.

Even though I have lived among rabbits for 27 years, they can be very secretive. Rabbits are notoriously tight lipped about their adventures. For the safety of the individual(s) involved, I cannot reveal my sources, or even how I came to gather this. And of course, it was not possible to verify any details. The pictures you see here are models, who agreed to stand in for their brethren. The East Rabbits are very protective of their identity, and I don't know anyone who has ever seen one, much less photographed them.

Rabbits are a curious bunch. They always have to look around to see who's coming and who's going. When Magellan sailed around the world, you can be sure that there were rabbit sentinels, watching from every shore. On the American continent, the first to see Eric The Red and later Columbus and his crew was the East rabbit.

Actually, East was the family name, as there were a whole succession of East Rabbits living along the East Coast. Probably true for other continents, but my sources won't say. By the way, the sentinels were always the ones with the strongest back legs. Their legendary thumping could be heard for miles. That is, if you happened to have long rabbit ears to hear them with. Their thumping would announce the the arrival of new visitors to these shores.

Now, before I confuse biologists and other nature watchers, I need to clarify that East is a family name, in the same way the Jones, or Smith might be used for a human. No attempt is being made to clarify whether these were New England Cottontails or eastern cottontails. Rabbits of one species will allow rabbits of another to adopt their family name, so long as they are worthy of it. (Oh yeah, but all the bunny models we used for pictures are of European decent.)

So it was that one day, the East Rabbit saw the pilgrim ship arrive to the shores that would one day be called Plymouth in the colony of Massachusetts. But after a few generations, the East Rabbits began to wonder how the other non-natives could arrive without being spotted. The rabbits held a council, the Great Council of Whiskers, and decided there might be a place that was even further east. Rabbits are a timid lot, but there are brave individuals among them. The bravest of them ventured up and down the coast following narrow dunes and dry reefs, often waiting until low tide (if it happened to be a cloudy night at dusk) to reach islands ...
Did I mention that rabbits are a humorous lot. They decided to honor these explorers with their own names. But they had trouble deciding on a name. So some were called Easterner rabbits, while those to the north were known as Northeasters (or nor'easters), and finally some became the Eastern rabbits.

Humans were known to these rabbits, at least the ones that we call the native (or aboriginal) peoples. Some also call them Indians or native americans. But these people, left things pretty much as they found them. This particular story relates to the arrival of the European people. Of course the Europeans brought their story of Easter and somewhere along the line, these Easterner rabbits helped join in the festivities. It might be noted that they no longer were concerned with arrival of ships since it had become such a common occurrence.
Easterner rabbits are quite adaptable. They learn to change with the times as readily as they shed for the seasons.

But to get back to our story, they discovered a place where only rabbits can fit. Of course they named this eastern most spot, the East Pole.

Now about those eggs... (Click here for page 2)

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