Bunny? He's no bunny. He's a goddamn RABBIT!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/12/11 03:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/12/11/9193846.aspx

Not a technical issues but kind of a language one. Feel free to skip...

When I was growing up in Beachwood, Ohio, I remember a children's rhyme involving a rabbit that was harassing the local field mice.

After ignoring the warnings of Good Fairy (usually three, allusions to the three strikes rule in prisoner sentencing!), the rabbit is made to pay.

The words that I learned:

Little Rabbit Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head!
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said:
"Little Rabbit Foo Foo
I don't wanna see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head!
I will give you three chances,
And if you don't behave, I will turn you into a GOON!"

 Then after the rabbit continued his illegal harrassment pattern and ignored the warnings, eventually the threat was carried out.

And the moral of the story was:

Hare today, GOON tomorrow.

(Insert eye roll and groan here!)

Now I have been informed that others who learned this growing up heard a variant involving Little BUNNY Foo Foo, not Little Rabbit Foo Foo.

Now Google Fight doesn't show too much difference (~185,000 vs. ~189,000), but apparently there is a bit of a difference of opinion, one that has even led to a couple of heated discussions, on both side of the country and both side of the Atlantic.

I thought that it would be best for me to put out all my thoughts on the matter here and then do my best to try to never think about the rodent again...

Now the notion of calling him a bunny?

This makes no sense to me.

I mean, assuming you ignore the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, sometimes called the Killer Bunny (YouTube link here), bunnies are small cute animals.

In fact, the way that the Killer Rabbit is NOT called a bunny kind of proves my point.

The described behavior in the rhyme of a bullying, practically stalking Sylvilagus is completely inconsistent with the whole notion of a bunny.

If an animal is going to be terrorizing the local apodemus sylvaticus population, he's no bunny; he's a goddamn rabbit.

Okay, that is all I had to say. You may now expect me to go back to more normal blogs than this one was....


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# John Cowan on 11 Dec 2008 10:22 AM:

Um, well, it seems to me that calling him a bunny is intended to sharpen the irony -- I thought you younger generation specialized in that sort of thing?  No?'

If it comes to that, rabbits aren't hares, either.  Rabbits are born blind, bald, and helpless and live in burrows; hares (some kinds of which are confusingly called jackrabbits) are born ready-to-go and don't burrow.  Cottontails don't burrow either, but are otherwise mostly like rabbits.  Most wild lagomorphs in North America are hares; the Belgian Hare is a domestic rabbit that's been bred to resemble a hare.

# Ianceicys on 12 Dec 2008 8:09 PM:

Having grown up in Cleveland Ohio, on the west side until I was 10, and the moved to the east side, cleveland heights. This may be the crux of the divide....one side learns about rabbits...and the other side learns about bunnies..

Funny post...brought back my childhood memories.

# Tina Marie on 14 Dec 2008 2:46 AM:

I definitely remember "Little Bunny FooFoo".  I'm constantly surprised how many of my friends have never heard of him at all.

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