March 13, 2009

The Great American Jackalope

The newsfeed on my Internet browser links me to the BBC news, and I never bothered changing it, mostly because I like their "Day in Pictures" feature. A few days ago, a story by someone dubbed "The Ethical Man" caught my eye. Apparently this British guy is traveling across America as part of a mission to stop global warming. I'm not really sure how that works because in my mind, Americans are some of the most wasteful and therefore environmentally unfriendly people, but whatever. Any way, this particular article was titled "Jackalope Hunting on the Great Frontier." I clicked on it suspecting some sort of whimsical tale, but unless The Ethical Man is employing a form of dry British humor that is completely lost on me, he seems totally serious about finding a jackalope.

I had always assumed that everyone knew jackalopes weren't real. That was until one day while hanging out with my friend Aisling that we got to talking about animals. When Aisling was asked what her favorite was, she immediately responded, "the jackalope!" to which I replied, "no, your favorite real animal." Months later she admitted that in that moment, all her jackalope dreams had been crushed-- she had thought they were real.

I thought I best Wik up jackalopes, in case The Ethical Man and Aisling were both right, and it was actually me who had been missing out on all the jackalope fun. But it turns out that jackalopes--real or imaginary-- are not fun at all. For starters, the best guess of where the whole jackalope folklore began is that there is a virus rabbits get that causes horn-like protrusions to grow from their heads. Gross. That disgusting affliction has inspired tall tales of an equally disgusting creature, for apparently jackalopes can imitate the sound of a human voice, only breed during electric storms, and produce milk that cures human ailments (but you have to sneak up on them and milk them while they're sleeping).

As for me, I prefer to imagine jackalopes as portrayed in this Pixar short, thank you very much.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Honey - jackalopes DO exist - there is one that I used to shop at frequently in Santa Fe!