Now Playing: 12th Night
Maman says it's 12th Night and alla Christmas Dekerashuns have to come down.
Yeah! And even before I've learned how to spell "Dekerashuns", Christmas is over for anudder year.
I don't like Christmas being over Just-Like-That. It should go on longer, I fink. Missybun says I must be having Flashbacks to being Lewis Carroll's big, white bunny-with-a-pocketwatch frum Alice Through the Looking-glass who lives in a world that has "Victorian" Christmases. Missy says that those kind of "Victorian" Christmases go on and on, particuarly in Royal Dalton-looking Villages that have Muppets singing Christmas Carols. But Muppets manage to make even "Victorian" misery look picturesque and appealling.
Maybe that's the whole Trubble with remembering Charles Dickens' stories at Christmastime. We tend to remember the lesson of A Christmas Carol but soften that lesson up a lot and take away its application to This Time by sprucing up Charles Dickens' London to include hum'rus iceskating penguins and cheeky pen-pushing mice. All the very real and scary dirt and disease gets swept out of "Victorian" times to be replaced with "picturesque" squalour. Now, Genuine sqalour isn't very "picturesque" when it's read through Dickens' werds, but that's how it comes out on films and in pictures and stuff, and how it lives on in hoomins' memories. Films and such make "Victorian" squalour look surperior and romantic compared to the real kind of squalour found in shelters, refugee camps and slums seen just-about-anywhere in The-Werld-As-It-Is.
Mebbe that's onna'count obba Fakt Dickens' "Victorian" squalour lacks plastic. You never see enny discarded plastic food-containers floating around in puddles, or see enny plastic bags floating on the breeze or plastered innu corners like you do in real-life. Mebbe it's the lack of plastic that makes being poverty-stricken in Dickens' "Victorian" Christmas so much nicer. It kind of makes you wonder if poverty inna Werld-As-It-Is would be less grim if there was less plastic around. (A fing to ponder.)
Since HouzRabbits don't go out much, we only know Whut We See, either frumma window, frumma seat inna car onna way to the v-e-t's, or frum watching tellyvision. Or frum hearing stories.
Our Maman reads stories, like A Christmas Carol ev'ry year because it's a Tradition at Our Warren. She used to read the story to Sistah Beffy and Phil-the-Lad when they were little hoomin kidlets, but then they growed up and she has nobunny left to whom to read, hexcept Alla Us Togedder. There might have been Baby Anya, but Sistah Beffy left the Warren and took her away with her and nobunny has heard ennyfing except rumours of betrayal and official inquiries regarding untruths frum her in over a year.
Yeah. I know - its very sad and Maman refuses to talk about it, but sumtimes sumbunny has to let loose the Truth - even though everyone knows that a lie can travel seven times around the world before the Truth can even get it's boots on (as Terry Prachett says). And the truth is this: Sister Beffy took Baby Anya and left. No reason why. She left. Tthen she phoned up Maman and screamed at her that she was "no longer part of her family". No reason for that, either. So Maman lost a daughter and doesn't even know how or why. Daughter's choice. Oh well. In a warren, anyone is free to leave - but not to tell vicious lies as an excuse.
So if you ever see Anya, please set her straight - that old woman she's been told is her "grandmother" is no relation to her, and that old man is not her grandfather. They are nothing to her - just some people who perpetuate her mother's lies (there is proof of their lies for anyone to see. It's called a "birth certificate"). Anya's biological grandfather died before she was born and her genuine grandmother is alive (never mind what's been said - Maman isn't dead and she never left) and Maman still cares about Anya very much. Phil cares about Anya very much, too - but Anya will never know that because the people she is with will only ever tell her lies to suit their own selfish and dishonest purposes.
So Maman read the Traditional Christmas Stories to herself inna Sitting Room when nobunny was around, hextcepting us. Maman said that keeping Traditions, even when there is nobunny to see is how to keep Faith alive. It is in the doing, not in somebunny seeing you do it.
And that is why we are celebrating 12th Night by taking down alla Christmas things. Maman said that if we kept them up all year, they would cease to be 'Peshul and soon become Common. We would get too used to seeing the Tree sitting proudly inna Living Room with alla Family Ornaments hanging frum the branches.
So Maman is going to take alla ornaments off the tree and put them away in 'Peshul boxes, so that she can take them all out Nextest Year and tell alla stories about each one of them as it gets hung up onna tree. She says telling the story of each ornament is how to keep the Family History alive, through Tradition. Phil complains that ev'ry year, Maman tells him the same stories and Maman says, "How else am I gonna get the stories drummed innu your head so you can tell them after I am gone?" and she beminded him that his Grandfather used to decorate the Christmas Tree and tell alla stories to her.
One day, it will be Phil's job to tell the stories to sumbunny else.
And the stories stretch alla way back to the "Victorian" Christmases Dickens writes about in his stories. But there are no cheeky mice or ice-skating penguins in the stories that Maman tells about the Christmas tree ornaments. There are three tree ornaments that Maman has frum "Victorian" times. They are fragile things, thin-as-paper glass tree-decorations, so translucent that you can see the dust of their paint trapped inside. They came frum Germany as gifts to Maman's Mom-mom frum her Great-Aunt Lizzie who'd been given them by her Cousin Little Charlie who came frum Germany so he didn't have to be inna Army there. He brought the tree ornaments with him when he arrived inna place called "Balt'more" and he gave them to Aunt Lizzie when went to live at her house in Chester when she was a young bride, around 1890.
And Maman's grandmother, whom she called "Mom-mom" gave the three ornaments to her daughter, Margaret, who gave them to her niece, who is Maman. And Maman will someday pass them on ("God willing" Maman allus says) to Phil, who, she hopes, will pass them on to his kidlets ("God willing" Maman allus adds), along with the story.
And those are the kinds of stories that Maman says are Tradition and that need to be remembered - how people came here seeking peace, and brought gifts with them in honour of the Christ Child entering the Hoomin Werld.
Of course, we bunnies know about the coming of the Christ-Child and how gifts came to be given In His Honour. There were animals there inna stable and we tell our Ownliest Stories about That Night and about 12th Night, too. Just because a story is not told in Hoomin books doesn't mean it is not a story told Sumwhere Else.
There is Hoomin Lore and there is udder Lore as well. Hoomins are not the only witnesses to "history" - those Magi that spoke to King Herod came riding upon camels, and were followed by patient little donkeys carrying loads of stuff. The critters who were in That Stable That Night were still there later on, and alla Flocks were still grazing in their fields with their shepherds keeping watch (and a dawg or two) even afta the angels and archangels had stopped singing and departed with Alla Heavenly Host frum the skies.
Hoomins tend to fortyget what doesn't concern them directly. Those camels knew where they'd been; they knew who was on their backs, where they were accustomed to having food, where they'd arrived and what made their destination dif'frunt from udder trips they'd been on. Camels are not stoopit, just not rilly agreeable to most hoomins. But if you axt them, they will tell you their Lore.
And so camels know about 12th Night, too. And they have very little to say about "kings" but quite a bit to say about relative squalour, generalised poverty and the over-all selfishness of adult hoomins, lemme tell you!
So now it is 12th Night and this is the End of Christmas for anudder year. And so we will put away the Dekerashuns anna tree, and alla Traditions anna Lore and save it all for Nextest Year. I will still miss it. I like alla stories and, like Maman, I don't get tired of them. Mebbe that's onna'count obba Fakt that I bemember so menny that there's no time to tell ev'ry single wunna them over Just-One-Christmas. There are just so menny wunnerful stories to tell! So menny Traditions to keep and so much Lore to be shared.
So mebbe I rilly amma kinda "Holiday Bunny" as Maman told me earlier. Even though I arrived assa "Easter Dump" and maybe shouldn't like holidays onna'count obba Fakt it wassa holiday that caused me to be bought and then 'bandoned atta v-e-t's inna cardboard box, I still rilly like to celebrate All the holidays. Mebbe I like holidays precisely because a holiday played a Big Part in my being rescued and becoming part of Our Warren.
Yeah! There is allus an "up" side to ev'ryfing.
But I feel that there is just sumfing about holidays - holy days - and mebbe it is that there is allus a sense throughout holidays that trandsends Time. It stretches back and forth like a length of spider's silk, anchoring the Past to the Present and connecting it to the Future. And I like all that connecting stuff, being able to touch those barely-visible threads and hear them vibrating softly with voices clearly heard - for those who will listen...
-------------------------------------------- By George