Today is the first day of August, and although it's not a tradition I was raised with, or even knew much about until I heard others talking about it, the first words out of my mouth this morning were, "Rabbit, rabbit."
Why say, "Rabbit, rabbit?" The tradition, superstition, folklore ... whatever you want to call it, has it that the first words you say in the morning on the first of the month be, "Rabbit, rabbit."
It's suppose to bring luck ... my fingers are crossed.
In more than one culture, the rabbit is a symbol luck, a harbinger of abundance, fertility, and prosperity. Bring it on!
From what I've read, saying "Rabbit, rabbit," on the first of the month seems to have originated in Britain.
Another British connection to the rabbit is the book, Watership Down. I listened to the audiobook and it was incredible. It's listed as a children's book, but don't be fooled, it's a complex tale with a sometimes frightening story line. If you're looking for a summer read, it's one you might consider. When I finished the book, I was so disappoint to leave Hazel, Bigwig, and Fiver behind. Chances are, you'll feel the same.
Like birding, reading is a popular hobby. And it's not surprising. A good book can introduce you to new ideas, new people, adventure, and suspense. Sometimes all in one book.
If you're not a reader, it may be you've just never found the right book.
Ask a friend to recommend a book or look online for a list of classics.
You can search by age group or topic: fantasy, mystery, cowboys, and aliens. Or, look for books about something you're interested in; there's probably a book about it. Like Pigeons listed below.
Though I still enjoy (and prefer) holding and reading a paper book and always, always have an audiobook going when I'm in the car, ebooks and online reading are especially convenient when you can't get out to the library or bookstore.
Here are three books that feature birds to get you started:
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
This is a classic children's book. Written and illustrated by McCloskey, it won the 1943 Caldecott award for illustration. If you're ever in Boston, be sure to visit the Public Garden where Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings are permanently installed in bronze.
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Another classic, this is a mystery novel ... and a movie starring Humphrey Bogart. Yes it's an older movie, and yes it was filmed in black and white. But don't let that deter you. Last week we watched a black and white film (despite some protests), and fifteen minutes into it we were all hooked.
Pigeon by Andrew D. Bleckman
This is a nonfiction book about the history of the pigeon. I haven't read it (yet), but I've always been fascinated by pigeons.
A lot of people shoo and poo poo pigeons, but I'm not sure that's fair. They coo coo when they stroll city sidewalks and if you look, really look at them, they've got shimmering shades of purple and green on the neck.
I think this book might have us all looking at them in a new way.
Have you read any of these books? And what do you think about pigeons?