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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


When I was a child, my family had a tradition.

On the first day of every month, we each had to say the word "rabbit" as soon as we awoke and realized the date.

"Rabbit!" mommy no plot would call out and five little no plots eagerly sang out "Rabbit" in reply.

To me, it seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but as I got out into the world and learned its many ways and customs, I found that the no plots were the only family I could find who indulged in this behaviour.

And everyone I told about it thought it a little on the strange side. No one had ever heard of such a thing.

I began to think my father had invented this tradition, along with tales of the Headless Axeman of Middle Three Island Pond and various other stories of questionable provenance.

In time, I learned to live with the family eccentricity and even embraced the tradition. I felt that more people should celebrate all things Leporidae on a monthly basis.

I cried "Rabbit!" to all my friends as each first day came and they replied in kind, but only when I insisted.

The Rabbit Revolution made little headway. It failed to spread with the alacrity I had envisioned.

Then one day, I met with resistance. My friend who didn't know... refused to say the R-word or any of its many synonyms, despite my repeated attempts to recruit her into the movement. As time passed and my frustration with her position grew, I stooped to trickery, asking leading questions whose answers naturally led down a rabbit hole and posting bunny display pictures on my msn to pry that word past her lips.

To my knowledge, she has not let the rabbit out of the hat on the first day of any month for the past 20 years.

Some years ago, I read an item in a university newspaper in which a folklore professor spoke of the practice as a means of bringing luck, but it had become very obscure.

Then I discovered one first day that one of my favourite bloggers, jonny b of private secret diary fame, was a fellow Leperidoptrist. But I could not be sure he was passing this tradition on to his child or if he would have enough children to ensure its survival (sadly the Toddler (aka Servalan) is an only child.)

In desperation, I fixed on a new plan - I myself would have to marry and produce offspring so that Leperidoptry would not die with me. New generations would keep this tradition alive.

Fortunately, my husband has been true to his wedding vows and can always be counted on to give the correct response to my cry.

But lately, She Who Does Not Obey has been forming her own resistance movement. My rabbity cries are more often met with silence and rebellion.

This morning, I said "Rabbit." She needed a bit of prompting but finally said "Ra-" raising my hopes skyward.

Then she smirked and followed with a "-bish" of defiance.


Alas, I am too old to produce more obedient children so I fear this tradition is doomed to extinction.


  1. Have no fear my Suezla - the tradition lives on! I too have sworn my better half to cry out "Rabbit" on the first of every month - he often does before I remember - I will call him at work if I forget to remind him in the a.m., and generally he exclaims "of course I have...hours ago!". I have engaged others in the habit as well, including my boss, who figures its worth a try to bring on any luck that is out there. I am so glad you've taken to sharing your writing skills with the world my beloved sister! I'll take a blog for now, but I'm still holding out for that bestseller! Please tell SWDNO that she had better obey the tradition on August 1st when Aunt Ruth will be there to team up with you to tickle it out of her! Can't wait to see you! Love Ruthie

  2. I make no promises to write a book. I'm happy enough blogging for now. I am glad to see that Rabbits are making their way across the country, at least one province over, anyway.