Where did that bunny come from anyway?

Published 5:44 pm Friday, April 9, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford Publisher
This week is a special week to many people beginning with last Sunday, which was Palm Sunday. During this week most days have significant events associated with them such as Passover on Tuesday, followed by Good Friday, and finally ending this Sunday with Easter. With Sunday's issue we will include a special wrap that will cover our paper and is sponsored by many people in our community. Inside this wrap is the story of Christ's resurrection after his crucifixion.
I've read the Bible, never from cover to cover unfortunately, but many of its teachings. Attending church at First Assembly as I was growing up, I am pretty sure that Bro. Don never mentioned a rabbit in the Easter story. Hang on and let me check. Yep, I was right. No where is there any reference to a rabbit.
Not to mention one delivering eggs, colored eggs at that. So, my question would be where did the rabbit come from?
By entering "origin of the Easter rabbit" into a search field on the internet, an answer to my question presented itself. It seems according to the reference files of the Plymouth District Library, the idea of the Easter Bunny dates back to Pagan times, and the bunny was actually a hare.
Long before Christ was born, parents told stories to their children about the Easter Hare, a companion to the goddess of spring, Eostre. During the festival of spring the hare would bring gifts, normally painted eggs. During the 1800s in Germany, the children made nests of grass in their yards, believing the Easter Bunny would place colored eggs in their baskets. In most places the hare has been replaced with the bunny or rabbit completely.
I can still remember the first time I discovered one of the Easter Bunny's secrets when I found two Easter baskets the week before Easter hidden in a closet, one for me and one for my sister. In the basket was candy and one of my heroes, a stuffed Wiley E. Coyote plush toy. I never told my mom or dad that I found the baskets; because I was afraid they wouldn't let me have it. Since that time I have grown a little older and have different views on things compared to my youth.
Personally, I think of Easter now as a time to pursue and dwell on my own beliefs, none of which now involve the rabbit.
Whatever Easter means to you, I hope that each of you and your families have a Happy Easter.
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at chuck.bodiford@atmoreadvance.com

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