Did you know that the tradition of saying “rabbit rabbit” on the first of the month (or in the UK, “white rabbit” or even “bunny, bunny”) is a relatively new bit of folkloric superstition? This odd habit first appeared in the early 1900’s (FDR was a rabbit-rabbit devotee and reportedly uttered the silly phrase on the first of the month without fail). No one really knows where it came from or why the magic words vary from place to place. Most people think it has something to do with the tradition of carrying a dead rabbit’s foot on a keychain—another thing FDR was known to do. I suspect that the tradition is becoming even more widespread in the age of Facebook and Twitter, where everyone can digitally rabbit rabbit for good luck. Or just to show that you’re well versed in social media mysticism. (This is either the best kind of hoodoo or the very worst. I don’t really know.)
In America, rabbit-ing is a New England thing, and I rather like that. New Englanders always seem like such skeptical, cold folk. It’s nice to know that we’re also pulled toward the rabbit hole of nonsense (because if there is anything truly magical, that’s where it hides: in plain sight under piles of nonsense).
But I suppose I am thankful that it’s finally spring. The ground has turned to mud. Everything is coated in grime. Portland is a city of dirt and muck. Even the whitest of rabbits would turn hare-brown here. Wild, like a Dürer.