Is anybunny hoppy?

 Yesterday I took my younger son shopping because he wanted to buy me a birthday present (there had been no time to go shopping on Friday). He knows I have a collection of bunny figurines and he wanted to get me one to add to the collection. The local Hallmark store seemed like the best place to look, so we headed there.

We found a variety of Webkinz, but none of them rabbits (which was OK because I already have a Webkinz bunny). The clerk thought there was a glass bunny, but although we saw glass birds, mice, and turtles, there were no bunnies. We found figurines of cows, kangaroos, butterflies, ducks, frogs, elephants, and I don’t remember what else, but no bunnies.

 There was one plush bunny with the children’s books, but it cost more than what Al had to spend. And there was a pair of Maxine bunny slippers, but they cost even more. There were animals for the garden, but they were mostly birds and turtles, and there were animals on wind chimes, but they were mostly butterflies.

Al had given up and we were heading for the door when I stopped at a display of mugs with Disney characters. There were Pooh and Piglet, and there was Eeyore, but no Rabbit (admittedly Rabbit is not the most likeable of A.A. Milne’s characters). There was Nemo, there were some with no pictures to go with the words, and … what was that in the back? It was the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland!

So now I have a very nice mug for my morning coffee. And an addition to my bunny collection that I can use every day instead of just putting on a shelf and having to dust it now and then.

Speaking of coffee – after we got home, I sat down to read and pick up the free copy of “Coffee News” I had picked up somewhere last weekend in Michigan. Among the interesting and unusual tidbits was mention of a bunny collection in Pasadena, CA that was certified by Guinness World Records, in 1999, as the world’s largest bunny collection. And that was back when they only had 8437 items in their collection. (Most of the items are collectibles, but they do keep a few live bunnies as pets as well.)

The husband and wife team that owns and operates The Bunny Museum in their own home, Steve Lubanski and Candace Frazee, maintain a longtime tradition of exchanging bunny gifts daily, as an expression of their love for each other. So it’s a collection that multiplies by leaps and bounds. (One might say it is one of “hare-raisin'” proportions). One page of their website says they have over 23,000; the Coffee News says over 26,000, and the top of their homepage says 28,012. (But of course it said the same number yesterday, and even if it was right yesterday there must be two more by now.)

Having visited a Nativity collection of over 1000 items last month, I cannot imagine a museum of nearly thirty times that number of items, all on a single theme. There is no time limit to visits (which are free but by appointment only, except on holidays when it is open house), but they generally schedule one hour. I suppose after an hour I would have seen enough, but probably would only have had time to look closely at a small portion of the collection.

I don’t know that I would have the same interest in examining them closely, of course. Bunnies are fun to look at, and cuddle if they are plush (I had friends with live rabbits as pets and they didn’t seem so lovable). But they don’t have the same intrinsic depth of meaning that the Nativity scene does, and I doubt that most of the bunny collectibles have had the same degree of artistic effort put into them.

My own bunny collection is pretty small. But they’re all  different, which I doubt can be true for a collection of over 28,000. I have figurines made of ceramic, rubber, pewter, onyx, and cloth. I have one that is a bendable figurine, one that dispenses cotton balls (from its rear end, of course – it’s a cottontail), a T-shirt, a hat, and a Matchbox Volkswagen Rabbit. And now, of course, a mug.

My bunny collection

a better look at the smaller bunnies


5 Responses to Is anybunny hoppy?

  1. mommy says:

    Pauline, We had a pet rabbit once. He had been abandoned by my in-laws’ neighbor and left out in the cold to fend for himself. We rescued him and took him the vet because he was infested with all kinds of disgusting creatures in several disgusting parts of his body. Since it was winter, we kept him in the house while he recuperated and he was actually a wonderful pet. Believe it or not, he faithfully used the cat box (the cats didn’t bother him) and he loved to jump up on your lap and snuggle. The problem with them, though, is that they are basically barnyard animals and, while he would pee in the cat box, he wouldn’t clean himself, thus dragging pee dribblings around with him after he did his business. So he wasn’t totally a suitable house pet. We found him a nice home on a farm.

  2. Margaret says:

    I still have the bunny sweatshirt that Pauline gave me years ago. And I recognize the little green rubber-type bunny in the picture from your childhood, with one bent ear. Are there any others I should recognize?

    • Pauline says:

      I may be remembering wrong, but I thought you might recognize the pewter bunny as one you gave me. But then, I don’t remember the bunny sweatshirt you say I gave you.

  3. Margaret says:

    I don’t recognize the pewter bunny, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t give it to you. The sweatshirt is white with a rather silly looking pink rabbit on it and had been yours. I think you gave it to me to wear for Halloween; I think you said you used to wear it with bunny slippers. You see what happens when we live far apart: we don’t ever see the things we gave each other and we forget.

    • Pauline says:

      Oh, that sweatshirt. I wondered where it was. I’m glad to hear it’s not lost somewhere in my house.

      I figured I must have given it away because it didn’t fit me well anymore – I have another sweatshirt I got not long after that one, that is too tight to wear comfortably. (Do you like wearing flags of the world?)

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