The Easter Bunny is of German origin. He shows up in 16th century literature as a deliverer of eggs, in his own way a springtime St. Nicholas bent on rewarding the good.
In Celtic mythology and folklore the hare has links to the mysterious Otherworld of the supernatural.
The Celts believed that the goddess Eostre’s favourite animal and attendant spirit was the hare.
Many Buddhist and Hindu texts describe the hare as a creature of fire, but not just any fire, the same consuming sacrificial fire of the phoenix, then to rise again out of the ashes.
To the Romans, the hare is an emblem of fertility, abundance, sexuality, lust, rampant growth and excess.
Eggs have forever been associated with spring time. Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Gauls, and Chinese all embraced the egg as a symbol of the universe.
Druids buried eggs dyed red, the color of menstrual blood, in freshly plowed fields to draw the goddess of spring from her slumber and to ensure abundance and fertility for the year.
In Egypt and Persia eggs were decorated at the beginning of the year. The decorated eggs were exchanged at the equinox, the eggs symbolizing creation and fertility.
Early humans thought the return of the sun from winter darkness was an annual miracle, and saw the egg as a natural wonder and proof of the renewal of life.
As Christianity spread, the egg was adopted as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection from the tomb.
Hardboiled eggs were dyed red in memory of Christ’s blood, then given to children as a talisman to preserve their health over the ensuing twelve months.
Pace eggs are kept year-round in British households for luck.
The protective qualities of the scarlet-dyed egg are still invoked in parts of Europe to guard fields and vineyards from lightning and hail, one is usually buried on the property for that purpose
According to European superstition, once an egg is consumed, its shell must be broken up lest a witch use it to gain power over the person who ate from it. A witch might also make a boat from an intact shell, then set sail in it and wreck ships at sea. Discarded eggshells should never be burned because doing so will cause the hens to cease to lay.
Anglo-Saxons worshiped Eostre, the moon Goddess of spring and fertility.
The Druids worshiped Blodeuwedd, the Goddess of fertility, magick, and dawn.
In Roman mythology, Flora is the goddess of flowers and of the season of spring.
The Ancient Greek goddess Persephone is associated with spring.
The celtic Goddess Brigit is honored at the festival of Imbolc which celebrates the first stirrings of Spring.
Freya is the Nordic fertility Goddess associated with spring growth and flowers.
Clover and other three-leaved plants were once considered spring gifts from the fairies to protect us and bring us luck.
Easter Lilies symbolize purity and spring time.
Other Wives tales
An old wives tale says a wind that blows on Easter Day will continue to blow throughout the year, and that a shower of rain promises a good crop of grass but little hay.
Children born on Easter Day are deemed especially fortunate. Those born on Good Friday, however, are doomed to be unlucky.
The following question, says a correspondent of the Scientific American,
in still being asked: “Is there such a thing as a hoop snake, and has
anybody ever seen one, or a specimen of one?” The way the hoop snake is
said to move about is thus: It takes its tail
in its month, coils itself in an ellipse, and moves around like a hoop.
There are many persons who uphold the existence of the hoop snake, yet
all reports and declarations that have been advanced in its favour have
all proved to be totally unreliable. The anatomy of a snake alone is
sufficient to prove that hoop like progression is impossible. The hoop
snake has never been described by any naturalist in any standard work on
reptiles, and no museum nor collection in the world contains a specimen
of it. It exists only in the minds of the ignorant and unscientific,
and it must be classed with ghosts, mermaids, winged snakes, sea
serpents, and fishhooked-tailed fishing snakes.
*** COW MILIKING SNAKES. (October 2, 1910)
An old country belief, usually called a superstition, has been justified
by a very curious experience near Chipping Norton. A Mrs. Rice, residing
near the village of Oddington,
Gloucestershire, keeps two cows, which, although in perfect condition,
were recently not giving a proper supply of milk. Her cowman, going into
the meadow one day, found one of the cows lying down quite contentedly,
while two large grass snakes were sucking at her udders.
*** SOME SNAKE YARN. (August 13, 1921)
Putting all jokes aside, did you ever hear of a hoop snake? Drovers
[livestock drivers] and other overlanders in the early days often spent
hours at the entrance to the old Cloncurry suspension bridge, when
Coppermine Creek was a banker [river that reaches to the top of the
banks], watching the antics of these reptiles. Averaging a length of
nearly 5ft, the hoop snake originally received its name on account of
its peculiar methods of propulsion. By, inserting its tail in its mouth,
and wriggling to a perpendicular attitude in the form of a hoop, it is
enabled to cover the ground with no little velocity. As above stated,
the drovers coming down from the Gulf and Territory country generally
found the time lag very heavily on their hands after the usual initial
“spree,” writes J.T.K. in the Brisbane “Courier.” Squatting on their
haunches near the entrance of the bridge, few, if any of them, were
averse to “backing their fancy” [placing a bet] as the various hoop
snakes endeavored to negotiate the swinging spans of the bridge. Money
passed hands very freely, and curses were loud and deep when one of the
leading snakes, possessing more velocity than sense, rolled from the
bridge and hit the water below. These races were quite a regular feature
of the ‘Curry in the good old days, but I am since given to understand
that snake racing has has been banned by the local Council, at the
instance of a representative body of churchmen, who held that such an
amusement was nothing more or less than a pastime of the devil.
*** SNAKES THAT FLY IN THE NIGHT. (January 27, 1917)
Recent paragraphs in The Observer about the discovery of what was at
first thought to be a winged snake, have called forth from our Green’s
Plains correspondent the following effusion:—Some diversity of opinion
has recently been expressed among correspondents of The Observer whether
another correspondent really killed a winged snake, as he asserted, or
was merely the victim of an optical illusion with a lizard. Now,
although not for one moment doubting that it was either a snake or a
lizard that was killed, or
maybe both, I would like to say right here and now, that the first
correspondent, unless his veracity has been of long standing and firmly
established, made a serious mistake in killing the reptile off his own
bat, without having first shown it to a friend, or friends, whose
have been very useful just now. This shows how very careful one should
be. There cannot be the slightest doubt about
this having been a belated specimen of the winged snake aerial fleet.
These reptiles were very numerous and popular in the early days of the
province, when distances
were largely marked by distant grog shanties, and events simply by what
happened—those far-away days when the native cat and the locust were
sworn enemies of the
pioneer, and sought his blood or crop by day or night. It was then in
the gloaming that he listened for the whirl of the white-winged
serpents, as they came in flocks to chase the marauders back into the
gathering night, for these fireless flying serpents were very partial to
locust and wild catty.
And yet they were generally understood to be labelled “not dangerous”
unless they hit something. There was, of course, an occasional overgrown
might not be quite so handy or harmless about the place. For instance,
there is the backblocker [one who lives in the outback], who, coming home in the
dusk, saw and fired at, what he took to be a wild turkey flying low, and
found when it landed almost in the door of his little grey home in the
bush that it was a broken-winged and very indignant snake.
They both spent a wildly wakeful night. Another early pioneer, gun in
hand, in broad daylight, saw rapidly approaching overhead, and mostly
all head, some remarkable monster, which he would have mistaken for an
aeroplane had those innovations been about in those days. As the
whirring wings passed overhead, he shut his eyes and fired, and brought
down a most fearsome-looking creature with the
head of a shark and the slimy winged body of a snake, which on closer
inspection it proved to be. The serpent had
evidently undertaken—for a wager maybe, or maybe only for a meal—to
swallow a full-grown lizard of the Jewish persuasion, and had succeeded
in getting the brute down all but the head, which was unusually large,
and ornamented with frills and whiskers, some of which had apparently
caught in the snake’s teeth, and so in all probability saved both their
And this is the only authentic local instance of a lizard flying,
although there is not the slightest doubt that they could do so if they
wanted to. The lizard is, how
ever, more of a ground bird, and seems quite content to make haste
slowly; and as in the case mentioned, only flies by
compulsion. But there can be no doubt that now, as in the days of old,
there are and were flying serpents, and The Observer correspondent who
made the discovery, or rediscovery, need not be in the least
discouraged, as it is a highly creditable one, and must prove
interesting to science and other denominations.
*** A FEARSOME REPTILE. (October 28, 1909) The Whip Snake of North America.
One of the most terrifying reptiles in the whole world is the “whip” or
“hoop” snake (genus Masticophis), found in North America. An account of
it reads like a piece of clever fiction, but, nevertheless, the whip
snake is very real, and one of the earth’s most real dangers— that is,
to one whose lot it happens to be in life to live in a portion of the
country where there are deep swamps or thick woods or wild rough
hillsides. This is the
whip snake’s choice of a world to live in, and there he is peaceable
If you happen to invade it, he will creep away, if possible, and fight
only as a last resort. He will even lie so snug that you may step over
him scatheless a dozen times— if only you do not step on him.
You may see him sometimes basking on a log or bare rock, blinking at the
sun, and looking as inert and harmless as a fallen twig. He is long and
slim, rarely under four or
over six feet in length. His back is dull dead brown, his belly reddish ocher, with brown lights. He has a mouthful of sharp teeth, but no
fangs; but at the tip of the tail you see a suspicious-looking horny
spur, for all the world like a cock’s spur, but somewhat sharper.
So he creeps and blinks away the spring and early summer, feeding on
frogs, mice, berries, and small birds and their eggs. Nobody sees him
unless they hunt him, and then only
by rare good luck. By-and-by, however, midsummer arrives, and dries up
the marshes and woodland pools, the hill streams run low or fail
altogether, and the negroes and hunters begin to say apprehensively :
“Better be keerful ; time for hoop
snake to come whirling out de water, an’ crazy mad at that.”
Soon you hear weird tales indeed. In this midsummer madness the creature
curls itself till the horned tail rests just on the back of its head,
and then with a terrific jerk flings itself into the country road or
open woodland. A succession of these vicious springs are its mode of
progression, and woe betide whatsoever may cross its path. The name whip
snake, hoop snake, or cartwheel snake, as it is called in different
localities, comes from its habit of locomotion on these
mad midsummer forages.
Vision is impossible, yet in some way the creature immediately discerns a
living presence, and strikes madly at it, fling its barbed tail almost
its own length in front of its head. There is a poison gland at the root
of the spur, full of venom so swift, so subtle, that it has no
A horse struck by it falls shivering and groaning, bathed in cold sweat,
and dies within the hour. Near cattle either run bellowing into the
nearest thicket in foaming frenzy, or drop
in their tracks as though shot. A dog dies with the quick rigours of
strychnine poisoning, then fall into
merciful insensibility that runs rapidly into death.
Luckily, however, the snake misses oftener than it strikes. In that case
it makes no second attack, but whirls away in search of new victims. It
cannot strike sideways, but is so full of fight it will turn squarely
on its course to deliver a straight-out blow.
Few things are more awesome than on a lonesome moonlit country road to encounter one of these wheels of vengeance.
The full moon of August is the whip snake’s usual season for its mad
frolic ; but sometimes it runs amuck by daylight. Once a group in front
of a roadside smithy were horror-struck at sight of a tremendous fellow
whirling down hill at them with a speed and force of a thunderbolt. They
were three men, with a tethered horse, in the midst, of them. Almost
before they could drew breath the snake was upon them. It struck madly
at the animal, which reared, plunged backwards, and broke rein just in
Instead of it, the snake struck the sapling to which it had been tied,
and with such force that the horn penetrated the bark and held the
reptile prisoner. The smith immediately
smashed its head with a blow of his hammer, flung it away, and set
about putting a shoe on the lucky beast which had had so narrow an
By the time the shoe was in place the sapling began to wilt. By morning
it was as black and dead as though hard frost had touched it. In fact,
whenever a tree suddenly and unaccountably dies, the countryfolk will
tell you that it has been stung by a whip snake;
The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934) 15 March 1890, The Sunday Sun
(Sydney, NSW : 1903 - 1910) 2 October 1910, The Shoalhaven News and
South Coast Districts Advertiser (Shoalhaven, New South Wales,
Australia) 13 August 1921, Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931) 27
January 1917 & Cobram Courier (Vic. : 1888 - 1954) 28 October 1909. Trove. National Library of Australia.
Had a CNA tell me that being raised vegan causes harm because meat gives children important immune system building blocks, nutrients that can only be replaced with artificial supplements that pale in comparison to the real thing, prevents heart disease, and that they've seen vegans come into the hospital with organ failure because of their diet. This all sounds like bullshit to me, but I can't refute it. What do you think?
That is absolute bullshit, and I’ve never heard anything like that before. I’m actually pretty astounded that a CNA would say something like that. So thank you for your ask.
There is something I’ve learned over the years. Just because someone is certified in something, or they have a degree, it doesn’t mean their word is infallible. Especially if other people who are certified and knowledgeable refute those statements (not speaking about myself, but other doctors who recommend plant-based diets).
I’ve gone to a certified dietician, who herself was vegan, and recommended vegan diets for those who wanted to be healthier. She was employed by Arizona State University. You don’t employ a dietician who recommends a diet that will result in organ failure. That’s ridiculous.
ASU even has a page on their sitefor recommending students to eat more fruits and vegetables. Not about eating more meat and dairy. Again, they don’t seem to be worried about causing the deaths of their students by recommending eating more plant-based foods.
Here are a couple resources from vegan dieticians or dietician organizations:
There’s even awebsite for where you can find doctors who eat a plant-based diet. Clearly, those doctors aren’t concerned about organ failure or “immune system building blocks” from their diets. (I’ve never heard that phrase before so I’m not sure what it means, they may have been talking about the structure of protein and how plant-proteins are supposedly deficient, but that’s been debunked.)
And as far as raising kids to be vegan, ask yourself: what kind of foods do you find in the baby isle? Are infant foods made up of ham and cheese and beef? Fish and chicken and eggs? Or is it all sauces made of fruits and vegetables?
More and more people are raising their children vegan, and you never hear about all the healthy, happy, veggie-eating kids. You hear about the extremely rare situation of parents starving their kids into malnutrition - and then veganism is blamed for it. When the fact of the matter is, doctors specifically tell parents to feed their kids fruits and vegetables because it’s healthy for them.
And as for supplements paling to the “real thing?” We all take supplements, whether we know it or not. No matter what diets we have. Packaged foods, especially cereals and milks of every kind, are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Every meat-eater eats B12 supplements created in a lab - they just obtain it through animal feed via the cow or chicken or pig they just ate, rather than directly from the source. Sometimes the B12 is injected right into the animals because they can’t obtain B12 from plants any more than we can because of modern agricultural methods.
So your CNA doesn’t understand the basics of how we obtain nutrition in our foods, and that’s understandable. Being a certified nursing assistant does not make someone an expert in nutrition. My only concern is that they are repeating misleading (or just plain false) information, and presenting it as medical advice.