Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani)
WE’RE BRUSH RABBITS, PUZZLED YET BRIGHT,
WE TRY HARD TO STAY OUT OF SIGHT.
NOW . . . GARDENS ARE WHAT WE LOVE BEST,
BUT AREN’T INVITED TO BE A GUEST.
FOR WE LOVE FLOWERS DOWN TO THEIR ROOTS
AND YUMMY VEGGIES TENDER YOUNG ROOTS.
SO GARDENERS CHASE US AWAY,
BUT KIDS BEG US TO STAY AND PLAY.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit; a children’s story, written by Beatrix Potter and published in 1902, continues to be one of the most cherished children’s books ever written, and has made the name “Peter” synonymous for “Rabbit.” Children love the story and cute drawings of the naughty bunny who disobeys his mother and ventures into Mr. McGregor’s garden, for most children love all rabbits in fiction or in reality.
There are several species, depending on locality, of small, wild, brown rabbits. However, the Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani) is the one I see scurrying for cover in fields or nibbling on vegetation. Often all the species are just called cottontails because of
their small round whitish tails. Rabbits usually have four or five litters of young every year for their mortality rate is high. Their pictures, toys, books and ads are all around us with the coming of spring and Easter. Rabbits, both wild and domestic, have become symbolic of the season, much like reindeer are at Christmas.
Beatrix Potter said, when the tale of Peter Rabbit was published 115 years ago, she thought the story would be short lived. I think she would be totally amazed at not only the longevity of her Peter, but the popularity of all rabbits in our culture today.