Rabbit and Hare can be found all through The Sea Ranch, except in the deep forest areas. For scientists, they are both members of the order Lagomorpha, but for us common folk they are more commonly called Cottontail and Jackrabbit. The scientists have poured over their DNA, dissected their digestive tracks, and studied their reproductive habits and they can tell you all of the important differences, but, for us, Cottontail is smaller and Jack has longer ears. They are both herbivores which means that they eat plants - as all gardeners know very well. (In as much as they get a lot of their water intake from the moisture content of the plants that they eat, it is logical that they would prefer well-tended gardens where the plants are watered frequently.) They, in turn, are what the scientists call "prey animals" meaning that they are part of the food chain for raptors and the other carnivores that live among us.

Cottontail

Cottontail

Hare

Jackrabbit

Rabbit and Hare are important in the mythology of many ancient cultures. Ancient Egypt saw rabbit as being androgynous and associated him/her with the phases of the moon. Aztecs saw Rabbit as representing fertility and drunkenness. Greeks and Romans saw Rabbit as being romantic, if a bit lustful, and Pliny the Elder recommended a good meal of rabbit as an aphrodisiac which would work it's magic for nine days. In Africa, Rabbit was a trickster and sharp at making a deal. At one point on his way to enlightenment, Buddha called all of the animals to meet with him. Only twelve animals heeded his call. Rabbit was the fourth to arrive and so was designated one of the twelve celestial animals in the Zodiac, ruling over the fourth year in the cycle of years. (But not in the Vietnamese Zodiac, because there are no rabbits in Vietnam). The lucky rabbit's foot was being carried around in Europe hundreds of years before Christ was born. Jews see Rabbit as being timid and something of a coward (probably because he freezes when startled). There is, in many cultures, a fascinating image of three hares arranged in such a manner that they share their ears. Scholars have traced it back to Buddhist caves in China dating hundreds of years before the birth of Christ and have also found it in medieval Europe where it became associated with the Christian concept of Trinity. Here in America, our most famous rabbit used to be Br'er Rabbit, or perhaps Peter Rabbit, but, more recently, Bugs Bunny and the Playboy Bunny are probably better known.

He is mad as a March Hare.