The long winter is over and this Sunday, April 20th, is finally Easter Sunday. Last Friday, I saw my first robin so I’m convinced spring has arrived. Now it’s time to start looking for the Easter Bunny.
Above, see the baby Easter Bunny.
The Easter Bunny is a special kind of rabbit that lays eggs. Actually, they only lay Easter Eggs, not the kind with yolks. And they started doing this in the 18th century in the USA.
Apparently, German immigrants brought the tradition to America. To make things more confusing, these German immigrants were known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. They were really the Pennsylvania Deutsch, and Deutsch means German. But that’s another story.
At any rate, for this tradition, the Osterhase brought coloured eggs to the good little boys and girls. However, hase means hare, not rabbit. So the Northern Europeans had an Easter Hare rather than an Easter Rabbit.
The two animals look somewhat alike, but they are different species, and they cannot breed.
Hares are usually larger than rabbits and have longer ears.
Hares live above ground in nests. Their young are born fully furred and with their eyes open so they can take care of themselves soon after they are born.
Rabbits dig underground tunnels, and live in these burrows or warrens. Their young are born blind, hairless, and helpless.
Hares have 48 chromosomes. Rabbits have 44 chromosomes.
Rabbits are kept as pets, but hares have not been domesticated. And, in North America at least, Hares do not lay Easter Eggs.
I hope the Easter Bunny brings you lots of chocolate this Sunday.