Saturday, December 6, 2008

White Rabbit!



The rather strange routine described below was an essential part of my childhood years!


WHITE RABBIT!



'White Rabbit! White Rabbit! White Rabbit!' Three times to make sure!
I'd lie there stiff as a poker gazing at my bedroom door.
On the very first day of every month those strange words must be said.
The room was pervaded with magic as I waited in my bed.
Would my mother forget to say them, those words of immense portent?
If she did, my goodness, what punishments would be sent?
If we didn't say 'White Rabbit' as soon as we awoke;
If those magical words 'White Rabbit!' were not the first we spoke
The most terrible fate awaited us; there was nothing we could do!
We'd be buffeted by misfortune until the month was through.
In the morning I'd awaken and I would hold my breath;
The strength of the tradition scared me half to death!
Supposing she said 'Wake up, dear'! We'd be doomed for thirty days!
The Rabbit was supernatural and had very nasty ways!
We'd remind each other the night before; 'Watch out!' and 'Don't forget!'
Luckily we were careful and we hadn't forgotten yet!
But there'd be floods and famine if those magic words weren't spoken;
The flowers would die, the roof cave in and every cup be broken!
My bedroom door was opening! My  mother was coming in!
'White Rabbits!' we cried in unison!
Another month could begin.


Note: White hares were supposed to be 'familiars' of Witches in early Britain; 'White Rabbits' are said to have been guilty by association!

14 comments:

Dogwalkmusings said...

Here we've shortened it to "rabbit", but you're the only one other than my husband who has ever told me of that tradition! We try to remember on the first of the month and say it just for fun!

Alisa said...

Very interesting! Do you know how the tradition began in your childhood?

linda may said...

Cool, I haven't heard of this before, do you still do it?

Stan Ski said...

I know this one - never worked for me. Many traditions built on suspicion.

anthonynorth said...

Personally, I think traditions are marvellous - although when young we can read too much into them on the psychological side.
Great post!

Lilibeth said...

That reminded me of when we were children on road trip. Every time we came to a bridge we held our breath until we crossed it. I'd never heard of the rabbit custom though.

totomai said...

maybe we have this tradition but on a different name. really interesting one!

Greyscale Territory said...

I did not know of this tradition until a few months ago! And that was when adults were saying this! So it's not just a child's superstition!

*~sis~* said...

my friend had a similar tradition to this with her mom, they said 'rabbit rabbit rabbit'. now she has me doing the same one! :)

Rambler said...

I had never heard that before..nice tradition

Laura Jayne said...

I had no idea of this... as one who is entirely too superstitious, now I have to add this along with ladders, pennies and no breaking of mirrors. Oh, so much to remember.

Patois said...

I'd never heard of this before. I can see the tension any child would feel.

nonizamboni said...

What a fascinating tradition and told with such flair! And those poor white rabbits guilty by association...I'm happy to know that you escaped the dreaded outcome. Perfect--thanks for sharing :O)

Kat said...

That was interesting Brenda...

WHITE RABBITS... at month beginning and all the built up suspense if it isn't said..!!!!