Wednesday, March 24, 2010

VTT - Easter Bunnies


My favorite Easter postcards are the ones that show rabbits dressed up and doing things. I think the reason I like them is because they remind me of the stories I heard about Easter bunnies when I was little. I'm sure my concept of the Easter bunny was influenced by my mother's childhood Uncle Wiggily book Sammie and Susie Littletail. I didn't realize, until I started researching this book on the web, that this book was the source of the color name "sky-blue pink." Another color that is mentioned in this book, but not elsewhere, is "skilligimink."

My mother's book is in poor condition, but I have kept it anyway. The first 16 pages are completely missing and the rest is falling apart.




This book is from about 1910 so the copyright is expired and the book is available on the web in both print and audio form. If you are interested in reading it or listening to it, you can find the links here. A reprint of Sammie and Susie Littletail is also available in book form on Amazon.

I have copied the text of the "Hiding the Easter Eggs" story here:


HIDING THE EASTER EGGS

What a lot of Easter eggs there were! I'm sure if you tried to count all that Sammie and Susie Littletail, and Papa and Mamma Littletail, to say nothing of Uncle Wiggily Longears and Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had colored, ready for Easter, you never could do it, never, never, never! Of course, Uncle Wiggily couldn't get so very many of the eggs ready for the children, because, you know, he has rheumatism, but then Sammie and Susie were so quick, and Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy hurried so, that long before Easter Sunday-morning, or Easter Monday morning, whenever you children hunt for your eggs, they were all ready.

You see, the rabbits have to hide all the Easter eggs that you children hunt for. Of course, I don't mean those in the store windows; the pretty ones, made of candy, and with little windows that you look through to see beautiful scenes. Oh, no, not those, but the ones you find at home. Those in the windows are put there by different kinds of rabbits.

Well, all the Easter eggs were ready, and Sammie and Susie, their papa and mamma, Uncle Wiggily Longears and Nurse Jane-Fuzzy-Wuzzy, set out to hide them. There were many colors. I think I have told you about them, but I'll just mention a few again. There were red ones, blue ones, green ones, pink ones, Alice blue ones, Johnnie red ones, Froggie green ones, strawberry color, and then that new shade, skilligimink, which is very fine indeed, and which turned Sammie sky-blue-pink.

So the rabbits started off with their baskets of colored eggs on their paws.

"Now, be careful, Sammie," called his mamma. "Don't fall down and break any of those eggs."

"No, mamma," answered Sammie, who was still colored sky-blue-pink, for it hadn't all worn off yet. "I'll be very careful."

"So will I, mamma," called Susie.

So they walked on through the woods to visit Newark and all the places around where children want Easter eggs. Of course, if you had gone out in the woods on top of Orange Mountain you could not have seen those rabbits, because they were invisible. That is, you couldn't see them, because Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the fairy hen, had given them all cloaks spun out of cobwebs, just like the Emperor of China once had, and this made it so no one could see them. For it would never do, you know, to have the rabbits spied upon when they were hiding the eggs. It wouldn't be fair, any more than it would be right to peek when you're "it" in playing blind man's buff.

Well, pretty soon, after a while, as they all walked through the woods, Sammie kept going slower and slower and slower, because his basket was quite heavy, until he was a long way in back of his papa, his mamma and Susie. But he didn't mind that, for he knew he had plenty of time, when all at once what should come running out of the bushes but a great big dog. At first Sammie was frightened, but then when he looked again he knew the dog was not a rabbit-dog. No, what is worse, he was an egg-dog. Now an egg-dog is a dog that eats eggs, and they are one of the very worst kinds of dogs there are. So the dog saw Sammie and knew what the little rabbit boy had in his basket. But he asked him, making believe he didn't know: "What have you in that basket, my little chap?" You see, he called him "little chap" so as to pretend he was a friendly egg-dog.

"There are Easter eggs in the basket," said Sammie politely.

"And what, pray, are Easter eggs, if I may be so bold as to ask?" inquired the dog, licking his teeth with his long red tongue, and blinking his eyes, as if he didn't care.

"Easter eggs," replied Sammie, "are eggs for children for Easter, and they are very prettily colored."

"Oh, ho!" exclaimed the dog, just like that, and he sniffed the air. "Please excuse me. But would you kindly be so good as to let me see those eggs? I never saw any colored ones."

"Well," answered Sammie, "I am in a hurry, but you may have one peep."

So he opened the top of the basket and there, sure enough, were the eggs, the green, the blue, the pink, the Johnnie red and the skilligimink colored ones and all.

"Oh, how lovely!" cried the bad dog, sniffing the air again. "May I have one?"

"No," said Sammie, very decidedly, "these are for the little children." Then that dog got angry. Oh, you should have seen how angry he got. No, on second thoughts I am glad you did not see how unpleasant he was, for it might spoil your Easter. Anyhow, he was dreadfully angry, dreadfully! He showed his teeth, and he made his hair stand up straight, and he growled: "Give me all those eggs, or I'll take them right away from you! I am an egg-dog, and I must have eggs. Give them to me, I say!"

Well, maybe poor Sammie wasn't frightened! He trembled so that the eggs rattled together and very nearly were broken. Then he started to run away, but the bad dog ran after him, and what do you think? Just as the horrid creature was about to take those lovely Easter eggs out of the basket and eat them up, who should come flying through the woods but Mrs. Cluck-Cluck, the fairy hen! She dashed at that dog, with her feathers sticking out, and made him run off. Then how glad Sammie was! He hurried and caught up to his papa and mamma, and soon all the Easter eggs were hidden.

Oh, what fun Sammie and Susie had running back through the woods after the eggs were all put in the secret places! Susie found a turnip in a field, and Sammie a carrot, and they ate them as they hopped along. Uncle Wiggily walked quite slowly, for his rheumatism was bothering him, and when those rabbits got home to the burrow, what do you think they found? Why, there were invitations for them all to come to a party that was going to be given by Lulu and Alice Wibblewobble. Alice and Lulu were little duck girls, and they lived with their papa and mamma, Mr. and Mrs. Wibblewobble, in a pen, not far from the rabbit burrow. They had a brother named Jimmie, but it wasn't his birthday, for he was a day older than his sisters, who were twins. That is their birthdays came at the same time. Some day I'm going to tell you a lot of stories about these same ducks.

"May we go to the party, mamma?" asked Susie.

"Of course," answered Mamma Littletail, and they all went, even Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy. They had a fine time, which I will tell you about in another book that has a lot of duck stories in it. But I just want to mention one thing that occurred.

Just as the party was over, and every one was coming home, Uncle Wiggily couldn't find his crutch, which Nurse Jane Fuzzy-Wuzzy had gnawed out of a cornstalk for him. Finally he did find it behind the door. Then he, and Sammie and Susie, and Mr. and Mrs. Littletail started for the burrow.

Then, all at once, when they were in the front yard of the Wibblewobble home, if a silver trumpet didn't sound in the woods: "Ta-ra-ta-ra-ta-ra!" just like that, and up came riding a little boy, all in silver and gold, on a white horse. He wanted to know if he was too late for the party, the little boy did, and when Uncle Wiggily said yes, the little boy was much disappointed.

Then Uncle Wiggily asked him who he was, and the little boy said:

"I am the fairy prince! I used to be a mud turtle, and live in the pond where Lulu and Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble swim. But I got tired of being a mud turtle, though I was a fairy prince, so I changed myself into a little boy."

But, do you know, Uncle Wiggily didn't believe him, and, what's more, he said so. Oh, yes, indeed he did! Then what did that little boy-fairy-prince do, but up and say:

"Well, you soon will believe me, Uncle Wiggily. You come back to the woods a little later, and something wonderful will happen. I'll make you believe in fairies; that's what I will, for you will see a red fairy very shortly."

But still Uncle Wiggily didn't believe, and he went home, moving his nose and ears at the same time. But you just wait, for if I should happen to find a penny rolling up hill, I will tell you, to-morrow night, about Uncle Wiggily and the red fairy.

The Sammie and Susie Littletail book on Amazon.

I'm participating in Vintage Thingie Thursday

31 comments:

  1. What a lovely post! I thoroughly enjoyed it this afternoon. Thank you!

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  2. This is a cute post, I saw a painting at GW not long ago with rabbits very similar to these in it, I am thinking now, I should have purchased it.....love the bunnies!

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  3. I'm not that old but I vaguely remember this book for some reason. I'm like you about keeping something because of sentimental reasons even if it is not in the best condition.

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  4. I always enjoy your postcards. I have just one of a bunny all dressed up playing a drum. Love the old book, also. The well-used condition of the book only add to the memories. Sally

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  5. An 'egg dog'! Funny and silly at the same time.

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  6. we had the Uncle Wiggley board game. I also remember the story of Peter Cottontail illustrated with dressed-up bunnies.

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  7. Oh, how adorable is that book! Thanks for posting the excerpt!

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  8. Love the Easter Postcards. Such beautiful colors. Love vintage books too. Great post.
    Ann

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  9. Thanks for sharing the story. I copied it to read aloud on Easter when we need a calm-down!
    That book is quite a treasure!

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  10. oh what delightful cards and i LOVE your adorable storybook too, even though it's in tatters.

    thank you so much for sharing this darling story :)

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  11. What great postcards. I love the bunny with the egg basket on her head. Your Mother's book is so special. Thank you for sharing the story with us.

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  12. Great postcards, of course. Come see my souvenir folder from the 30s this week!

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  13. What a fun story. And the postcards are so cute.

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  14. How nice to let us read that story! Cute postcards.

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  15. I also love vintage Easter Postcards and the ones with bunnies are always the best. The book is a great addition.

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  16. Great story and lovely rabbit cards. Happy Easter!

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  17. How sweet of you to share this story with us - both yours and the book's. I love your vintage Easter cards. I don't find those too often.

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  18. what a super~ific post. I just drool over your blog so I better become a follower and add you to my blog roll, duhhhh. lol

    I used the name of your blog for the title of my post when I showed my vintage valentines. I sure hope that was ok, sweets.

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  19. I am crazy for vintage cards and books! Thank you for a cute post!

    Love,
    Susan and Bentley
    xxoo

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  20. I love old books! The bunny post cards are neat, too.

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  21. I had an Uncle Wiggley board game growing up that me and my Papaw used to play all the time. I LOVED that game! Your post was great!

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  22. That is a cute book! And your postcards are nice also. I still havent seen a Halloween postcard with the American flag on it. Have a good day. Julian

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  23. Old books and old postcards...both on my list of favorites. Great post :)

    Blessings!
    Gail

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  24. Thanks for the link to the Project Gutenberg site! I know I'll download a lot of books from there.

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  25. Some of my favorite Easter postcards show little chicks dressed up- I bought several today and even found one where the chicks are drinking beer and playing cards- Too funny!

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  26. wow! the postcards are adorable! I want them!!! the bunnies look Swiss, or German and they go with my wooden bunnies :-).

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  27. Love that postcard....happy PFF
    Judy

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  28. I'm late visiting the vtt links but..better last than never I guess. You always have such interesting things. Id hate to miss it :)

    Tracy

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