Monday, April 08, 2013


Native to the Western Hemisphere, Cottontail Rabbit Sub-Family lives in a wide variety of habitats. Called “cottontail” because their tails resemble white cotton balls, this Sub-Family of Rabbits is also known as the “hares of the woods” (Sylvilogus). Cottontails can be found in marshes and swamps, such as Marsh Rabbit, who takes to water as readily as Duck. However, these “woods hares” are Rabbits, who spend much of their day concealed in a shallow form called a shelter. These small stocky Rabbits become active after sunset.

Cottontails have many strategies to escape. Their strong hind legs and bulgy eyes are assets in escaping and evading predators. Since They dislike being in the open, Cottontails will run quickly to find a hiding place. Unlike Hares, Cottontails are swift runners, and can easily zigzag away from predators. They flash their white tails to warn any other Rabbit remaining near by. When pursued by Coyote, Cottontails will run in circles, often jumping sideways to avoid leaving a scent trail. If necessary, Cottontail will bowl Ferret over by kicking Him with her powerful hind legs.

Because of Cottontails’ many defense strategies, the Algonquin peoples of North America regarded Them as tricksters. Manabohzo, the Great White One, is the Great Trickster of the Northeast. A transformer and creator, He represents the life force. Meanwhile, Michabo, the Great Hare is one of the founders of the human race.

Cottontail Rabbit Sub-Family teaches people that even small helpless ones can defend themselves.  They can escape by freezing in place so that none see them, race zigzagging around the ground to evade being caught, or kick with their strong hind legs. People can learn self-defense and courage from Cottontails.

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