We say it every year. “Can you believe another year has gone by”? Yes, I can believe it because it happens every year. So here we are, 2011, the year of the rabbit. According to Chinese mythology, the rabbit symbolizes endurance. If you've ever seen the breeding practices of the lovable rabbit, you can easily see why this symbolization is spot-on. Endurance is why the rabbit has thrived over the centuries. Most people think of bunny wabbits as cute fuzzies with a wiggly nose. This is the farthest from the truth. Rabbits are rascally, yes, but let me explain.
First topic of discussion; mating. I know you have all heard the saying “they breed like rabbits.” This comes from the fact that rabbits breed a lot and fast. Amazingly, a female rabbit is able to reproduce at six months of age. Six months! Courtship lasts for about 30-40 seconds and almost always ends in pregnancy. Over the course of a single female's life, she can easily produce 800 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Yowza.
Second topic; survivorship. All of these young kits have to go somewhere. The majority of them end up in the bellies of larger predators like fox, owls and bobcats. However, those that do survive to adulthood didn't get there by accident. They were very vigilant about watching out for enemies that want them as a snack. Huge, rotating ears allow rabbits to hear over long distances to ensure no predator can attempt a sneak attack. Bulbous eyeballs give rabbits a huge field of vision to scan the sky and ground for predators, while giant back feet allow for powerful jumping and kicking abilities. In a last case scenario, rabbits will use their powerful teeth to bite their way out of a struggle. Rabbits know they are a tasty food source, so they always need to be on edge to ensure they aren't served up.
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Third topic; dropping eating. You see, rabbits are herbivores and they eat some pretty hardy plant material. Much of this food is difficult to digest, so of course, rabbits have a remedy. They re-ingest their own droppings. Because the rabbit's body did not extract all of the possible nutrients during the first digestion, they re-eat their feces to ensure all possible nutrient extraction is achieved. Be happy our bodies are more effective with digestion.
So there you have it, the truth about the lovable bunny. As you move through 2011 and find yourself overwhelmed, channel your inner rabbit. I'm confident you will come through on top. Good luck, and have a great year!