Angelic Hopping Creatures
When recently perusing Etsy, yes I’m addicted, I stumbled across this fantastic little article about one of my childhood heroines, Beatrix Potter. This led me to (virtually) wander through the Morgan Library and Museum’s online exhibition of some of Potter’s letters to children, in which she wrote her very first tales of rabbits, ducks, and the like. These are often considered her manuscripts to stories like Peter Rabbit that have captivated generations of adults and children alike.
This photograph of Potter and her rabbit, Benjamin Bouncer, just slays me. I like to think that Beatrix and myself look so very much alike in this photograph, a skirt and a rabbit on a leash, just like my Beans.
Okay, no skirt in this photo but you get the point!
I was tickled to see that one of my childhood heroines and I were so much alike…
All this Potterdom got me to thinking: not just the ways in which I am inadvertently like one of my idols, but the caring love and compassion Potter put into her tales. I remember my parents reading me such stories when I was a girl, all wrapped up in my Peter Rabbit blanket, with bunnies of my own hopping about in their rabbit palace in our backyard. These stories have certainly stuck with me. Their messages of love and kindess are only small representations of the compassion and gentleness of the animals that each of us has in our own life. Those tales of pesky Peter Rabbit are so like my little rascal of a house rabbit, Beans’s adventures in her little rabbity realm.
I’ve written before about the cruelty free symbol and how it is no accident that the logo is of a rabbit. Not only are rabbits among the gentlest and spiritual of creatures, but unfortunately they are often the ones used in animal testing, especially of cosmetic products. I recently took the cruelty free pledge via the Cruelty-Free app on the iPhone I got for Christmas. I urge you to do the same, and download this fantastic app if you too have an iPhone. (And be on the look out for a post soon about vegan iPhone apps!) I think this small step is symbolic of a greater good and of a message embedded into many fondly remembered children’s tales. It represents compassion, love, awareness, and respect of the bond between all living things–something I am sure Beatrix Potter would be proud to sign.
What animal rights messages do you see hidden in children’s stories? (I’d love to hear from you parents out there! Where are the tales of compassion hidden?)
Bisous! And happy hopping!