Many things come to mind when thinking of the holiday that accompanies spring’s joyful arrival. One of them is how the dates are determined. I checked the Bible and it seems to end in the year 2016, which I interpret as being the next time good ol’ J.C. is to return to save our souls. Then another question comes to mind, why does it end there, why aren’t there any other dates following that (fateful) year? Perhaps only God knows.
Why is the bunny, a symbol of proactive procreation, so evident in today’s iconic driven culture, so deeply ingrained in and permanently imbedded (in bed with) consumerism and the economy? Why is there so much innocence and gaiety involved in symbolically celebrating an incident that happened 2,000 years ago, a weekend of lost hopes and dreams, revived over and over again in ritual and ceremony, to end with hope and glory for all, only to be merely associated with chocolate and eggs?
I suppose that at some time or other, back in the lost past, spring fever took over spiritual appeal and supplanted the mystical rabbit that magically popped into contemporary culture. As a Cree, I would look at the rabbit with a leery (albeit pink) eye and think of how good it would taste with dumplings (with or without raisins, à la Wemindji) rather than coated with chocolate. I must say that I am antidiabetes and wish that kids could understand this: that those chocolate bunnies are dangerous in the long run.
Not only do they rob you of much-needed vitamins and protein, but they rob you of your culture, because we catch and eat bunnies in the winter and not so late in the spring. At least that was what I was told way back before the lapin-au-chocolat was a familiar item in our diet. Also, another question arises: Where do the eggs fit in? Isn’t that the territory of the chicken, or is the real answer that the egg did come before the chicken and was delivered by a rabbit? Case solved or mystery deepened, so make the choice that befuddled generations of church goers and evolutionists alike, and take a stance in favour or against the intrepid hare.
I tend to stick to my guns and snare wire, and savour the moment when the steam clears from my boodinishidge so I can really celebrate the end of winter and endure the next several weeks of spring without seeing another ornery wabbit or offering a piece of carrot as bait. On the other hand, I still maintain the belief that the Easter holiday remains a time of remembrance. I leave the chocolate bunny to remind us of how much we have changed from our tradition as hunters to one of consumers feeding on an economy of falsehoods and pretence. Don’t forget, Easter is fun and should stay that way, but sugar can kill.
Speaking of holidays, I officially request a holiday for the month of May. I do this for my dear readers, so that they may go on the land to kill, cook and eat geese. I hope, given the way our Cree society is evolving, that the goose doesn’t fare the same fate as the hare and make me endure a chocolate-covered gander to serve to the wee ones as a reminder of hunting days gone past. God forbid such cultural blasphemy.