Today is Bunday, so I have the great pleasure of blogging to you again. The female hoomin bean asked me to say that the owls thwarted her again yesterday and she got pine sap on her bottom from sitting on a stump waiting for the owl to hoot again, which it didn't. Serves her right. I don't mess with owls - I'm too smart for that!
Anyway, earlier this week, one of my friends on FaceBun asked me a very good question: Why do rabbits have such dainty feet? This is definitely worth discussion. It is not well known, in the world of hoomin beans, about the legend of rabbit feet. I, King Pippin and ruler of my great domain, shall pass on to you the story that has been told in my species over a great many generations. If you know anything at all about rabbits and our tendency to create new generations, you know that is a LOT of story-telling.
So, a long time ago, there were no hoomin beans. There were rabbits and there were dinosaurs. There were a few other things around too, like amoebas and horseshoe crabs, but they aren't important for this story.
The dinosaurs were very big and scary. There were some dinosaurs that ate plants, like the rabbits, and there were other dinosaurs that ate the rabbits. In any case, we rabbits were pretty much scared of all the dinosaurs because they really didn't seem terribly friendly, and they were very powerful.
Back in this time, it was the time of vast mud flats and tar pits and other disagreeable surfaces to walk on. Naturally, rabbits had evolved to deal with all of this, and we had feet that looked like furry balloons. We had the ability to inflate and deflate our feet, as needed, so that if we got into a situation where we were inadvertently in a tar pit, we could inflate our feet, which would cause us to gently rise above the tar. Sometimes it wasn't perfect and we would flip upside-down while levitating out of the problem situation (leading to tar on our ear tips), but in general, it worked well.
The problem, though, is that we looked kind of ridiculous. Really ridiculous, if you think about it. I can't show you any pictures because there weren't cameras then, but trust me, it was a bit embarrassing, and some of the other creatures would snicker when they saw us. When our feet were deflated, we looked like we walked around on puddles of fur and they were all flopsy and inconvenient when we wanted to dig our burrows. Still, we had those feet for a reason, and although they weren't dainty, they were quite effective at helping us deal with those dangerous times. In fact, sometimes we were very lucky to have those feet, and that's why hoomin beans got the horrible idea of carrying around a rabbit foot for luck. This is a despicable practice and shouldn't even be worth mentioning, except that it still happens. So just stop it already!
As time went on, the dinosaurs became more and more powerful and ruled the land with their scary teeth and ear-shattering roars. But one day, there was a great vibration felt across the land, and the bunnies all levitated a little bit, in case something was about to happen, and the dinosaurs all roared and jumped up and down and made a general commotion, as was their habit. The amoebas didn't do anything, and I think the horseshoe crabs didn't really notice because they were in the sea, but I wasn't there so I'm not sure.
After the big vibration, things began to change, and the temperatures began to go down. It was an age of winter approaching, with vast quantities of snow and great glaciers of ice and a lot of shivering amongst the dinosaurs. They roared a little less often and they gathered in groups and waved their tiny arms and tried to decide what to do about it all. We were all fine because we have warm coats and we eat tundra plants and we generally hopped about and enjoyed the lack of tar pits and mud flats.
As time went on, there were fewer and fewer dinosaurs, and more and more rabbits. One day, a large group of rabbits came upon a dinosaur shivering in a snowbank and the dinosaur was actually crying big dinosaur tears and it was terribly distressed. The rabbits were, generally speaking, a sympathetic lot, so they ended up talking to the dinosaur, although they all kept their feet inflated in case of emergency. The dinosaur said that he was the last dinosaur and was very sad and very cold, and would the rabbits please keep him company and warm him up. The rabbits were not at all sure about this matter, so they had a wee conference, as we do, and while they were having the discussion, the dinosaur lost consciousness. The rabbits all grouped around the dinosaur, and being warm and fluffy and cozy, they warmed him up sufficiently that he was able to regain consciousness, and fortunately he was a plant-eating dinosaur, so he didn't eat any of them. The dinosaur was still very powerful though, and the rabbits brought him little bits of tundra plants, but it wasn't enough, and eventually the dinosaur was about to depart this mortal coil. As a final gesture of his gratitude, the dinosaur asked the rabbits if there was anything he could do for them, and the rabbits had a wee conference, as we do, and decided they didn't really need the tar pit/mud flat feet adaptation now that the climate had changed, and they thought, since he was so powerful, the dinosaur might be able to do something about this. So they asked him if he would change their feet to small, dainty feet so that nobody would laugh at them anymore, and they would be able to have an easier time digging their burrows.
The dinosaur cried a big dinosaur tear and said he wasn't that powerful, but he would try to do something from wherever he went, when he went, and then a great sigh escaped him, and he began to shimmer and disappear, and in his place, the rabbits were astonished to see the Great Lady of the Wood. The Great Lady said that the rabbits had been very selfless to help the last dinosaur and that she would grant them their wish, and that from that day forth, all rabbits would have lovely, dainty, appropriately-sized, non-inflatable feet, although rabbits who were living in snowy areas would have larger back feet for practical purposes. The rabbits all passed out from sheer shock and delight, and when they woke up, their feet were just as you see today.
So now you know why rabbits have such small, dainty feet. And with that story told, I must go and rest my small dainty feet. Until next week, keep your ears (and feet!) clean.