’Twas the night before Easter,
And as was his habit,
In the deep hours of morning
There sat an Old Rabbit
On the floor by the firelight,
Cloaked in old myst’ry.
Again he had come
To set straight springtime Hist’ry:
“Yes, it’s true, though you may think
My mission quite funny,
I’ve come to tell tales
Of the Passover Bunny!
A creature far sweeter than chocolate or honey,
Yes, the Passover, Passover, Passover Bunny!
What we think we know now
Is all hogwash and syrup,
Misconceptions begun back in first century Europe
When the Saxons loved Eastre,
A goddess so raucous,
She fertilized spring as a sexual caucus!
And since her pet animal was a large hare,
The legend of the Eastre Bunny starts there!
But the truth is —
A truth that will make your hair curlier —
Is that this Passover saga began so much earlier!
Let me take you back now to the hot desert sands,
Back to Egypt, the home of the Pharaohs’ vast lands.
We all know that Egyptians then worshipped the Cat.
(Tho’ we rabbits could never quite understand that.)
But suffice it to say that mankind has its habits,
And the Hebrews more wisely gave honor to Rabbits.
More wisely because we are not only cuter,
But we have a biology far more “astuter!”
Because we are lagomorphs,
Superfetation allows us two litters at once —
We are, oh, so unique, (it’s great fun), also useful,
Historical too, since we’re here to be truthful.
Y’see, it’s how we came, in all of our glory,
To hop onto the path of this holiday story:
For, when the mean Pharaoh turned Jews into slaves,
To move all those big rocks, we hopped out of our caves.
While Jews sweated by day, to set each stone in lime,
Bunnies came out at night, to help them save time!
We willingly chained our soft selves into gangs,
Got those pyramids built! Thereby History hangs!
And when we ran short of our own Bunny power
Wondrous superfetation made more in an hour!
We worked side by side with the Jews we respected,
And, as a result, we’re forever connected!
With Moses we exodused,
Helped him part the Red Sea,
Bunny-hopped through the desert,
Our mishpacha, all free!
Now you ask yourself why doesn’t Hist’ry record
Bunnies’ fabulous deeds?
Now I don’t want you bored
’Cuz this poem runs long, but to be really frank,
It was those thoughtful Jews that we have to thank.
For in telling of feats both Human and Bunny.
They played ’round with Hist’ry,
Did a trick or two, funny:
They decided to take all the weight on themselves,
Thus assigning the Bunny to obscurity’s shelves.
For they knew that if people began to think Rabbits
Could lift heavy loads, they’d develop bad habits
Of working all Bunnies right down to the bone!
And they wanted all Humans to leave Buns alone!
They wanted us free to be furry and sweet,
To spend time being fertile and lucky of feet!
So to pay Bunnies back for our help so well placed
Our part in the story’s been all but erased!
And for that we are grateful,
For, you see, it’s sublime
To be given the gift of both leisure and time
To further our art, making egg after egg —
Oh that’s right, Chickens make those,
And there’s no time to segue
Into that story…
Next year I’ll do that:
I’ll tell you the story of The Big Easter Hat
And how it turned out that the Bunnies’ decor
Made of painted chick’s eggs
Had folks begging for more.
But for now I shall leave you, with goodies to taste,
As you ruminate over old History’s waste
Of a tale rarely told, of the Jews’ friends so sunny:
The rare humorous tale of
The Passover Bunny!
Passover: a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.
Lagomorph: any member of the mammalian order made up of the relatively well-known rabbits and hares (family Leporidae). All lagomorphs (meaning “hare-shaped”) are small to medium-sized terrestrial herbivore.
Superfetation: the simultaneous occurrence of more than one stage of developing embryo in the same animal.
Mishpacha: a Hebrew noun meaning “family.”