I received a surprise parcel in the post today.
This is Hare. He is identical to the much loved bedtime companion of my seven year old granddaughter. I love Hare almost as much as she does as he has been visiting my home for years. When I told granddaughter that I would happily take him in if ever she got fed up, she looked horrified: “I will NEVER get rid of Hare,” she said. My daughter-in-law, hearing this exchange, took it upon herself to buy me my own hare (Ikea in case you’re wondering)! Hares are usually golden brown so quite why Ikea decided to produce a grey one is anyone’s guess.
In the early days of the original Hare’s existence, when granddaughter didn’t know the difference and thought he was a rabbit called Hare rather than an actual hare, I already had a soft spot for these handsome fellows. I don’t know when this came about, or why, but ever since I saw one at the side of a road and was transfixed, I’ve taken a great liking to them.
Whenever we visit Dartmouth we always look in the window of a gallery which has a selection of bronze hares. Presumably they do sell some but they must be replaced as it always seems that there are several available. Somewhat out of my price range, I only look but when I spotted this young fellow in Dunelm for £4.99, I just had to buy him.
Last year’s Christmas presents included a hare mug, coaster and small tray:
And among my birthday cards last week was this card – a coincidence I’m sure because I don’t think the friend who sent it is aware of my liking for hares.
Here’s the hare that often accompanies me to Tesco:
Despite being different to rabbits, hares are classified as the same family. The main differences are that whilst rabbits enjoy the company of other rabbits and live together in warrens, hares are solitary creatures and live in nests above ground. Their long legs mean that they are much faster runners than rabbits and their young are independent from birth.
I wonder if anyone remembers the 1979 book Masquerade by Kit Williams which held hidden clues to the secret location of a buried 18 carat gold jewelled hare. It begins: “To solve the hidden riddle, you must use your eyes, / And find the hare in every picture that may point you to the prize”. I never cracked a single clue (nor anyone else I knew) but the book was worth having just for the beautifully lavish illustrations. I wonder what happened to my copy.