by Beth Boswell Jacks
I just have fun." ~ Bugs Bunny
Sitting around the table on New Year's Day following a delicious meal of cornbread and black-eyed peas, one of son Tom's in-laws (Eddie) spoke up and said, "Did everybody say 'rabbit, rabbit' this morning before you got out of bed?"
The rest of us looked at him. Rabbit, rabbit? Umm, that would be no.
After a brief silence, somebody said, "And why should we say 'rabbit, rabbit' before we get out of bed?"
"Because," said Eddie, "it's New Year's Day. It's the first day of the month. Didn't your mama ever teach you that you have to say 'rabbit, rabbit' on the first day of each month for good luck?"
That would be another no. My mother was big on folklore, but this one must have escaped her.
Of course, I immediately sensed a column topic and pressed Eddie for more information, at which point another family member, David (who once worked for Yahoo and knows exactly where to go in cyberspace to retrieve such information), pulled a handy-dandy gizmo from his pocket and went straight to everything we could ever want to know about saying "rabbit, rabbit" on the first day of the month.
Eddie was shooting straight. Zillions of people all over the world ascribe to this rabbit mantra, with slight variations.
The origins of this good luck practice are unknown, but many think it began as far back as the 1800s in England, directly tied to the idea that rabbits are lucky animals, even though, as one wit said, "That rabbit foot we carry in our pocket apparently didn't bring the rabbit a whole lot of luck."
~ Being the first to say "rabbit, rabbit" to a person on the first of the month will bring good luck. Once someone says "rabbit, rabbit" to you, you can't repeat it to anyone, thus insuring your having bad luck throughout the month. You must be quick.
~ The good fortune effect is magnified on the first day of your birth month. Nice.
~ One variation involves a bit of competition. Saying "rabbit, rabbit" to another person on the first of the month entitles the speaker to the luck of the listener for the duration of the month.
~ A current version allows luck to play no part. Say "rabbit, rabbit" to someone on the first day of the month and you win. That's it.
~ Another variation is "bunny, bunny, hop, hop," but I think that's over in Poland.
~ There are several ways to help your bad fortune if you forget, most commonly saying the word backwards -- "tibbaR, tibbaR" -- before falling asleep or saying "moose, moose" upon waking on day 2 of the month. I'm not sure what moose has to do with anything.
~ Another variation is saying "white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit" as the initial words of the month before leaving the bed, and the speaker must first realign so that speaker's head is positioned at the foot of the bed.
Spring Cleaning ~ Here We Go 'Round In Circles
Conquering the Wild Blue Yonder
Trail rides, cantles and beans...Hellooo, Mama!
A Towel Piece ~ A Tribute
Ben Skelton: Peace Corps Volunteer
Smiles, Not Fists...
Dance ~ the Soul's Hidden Language
Class Reunion Advice
Searching for the Inner Animal
It Was a Dark and Stormy... you know
Granny Does the Shoshone
Forget Your Troubles ~ C'mon, Get Older!
Thanksgiving Humor - Granny's Confession
How to Eat Crawdads
For stories at USADS by columnist Beth Boswell Jacks, click here: SNIPPETS
And find even more here: MORE SNIPPETS
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