Why Does the Easter Bunny Bring Eggs?



The Lapwing Bird, layer of the first Easter Egg

This is something I never wondered as a kid. Why look a gift horse in the mouth, right?

As an adult, it haunted me. Well, maybe haunted is a bit strong considering I could’ve googled it any moment, except every time I thought about it my phone was out of reach.

Seriously…why does a bunny bring us eggs on Easter? (And I won’t even begin to contemplate what a bunny bringing dyed eggs has to do with the religious significance of Easter.  We’ll leave that for another day.)

A few weeks ago I was reading a blog entirely unrelated to Easter and came upon a story that must be related to the mystical bunny who brings us eggs.

In the English countryside, beginning in March, folks would search the tall grass in open fields for eggs. (Kind of like an Easter egg hunt, no?).  They would often find these eggs in shallow, muddy scrapes in the ground.  Oftentimes, there were hare droppings in the scrapes.  And in March, the spring hares are bouncing around these same fields with boundless energy.

Is it any wonder people believed the hares laid the eggs?

But it wasn’t the hares, of course. It is a bird called a lapwing, who lay their eggs in the open fields in March, just when the hares appear.  If they can find the slight protection of a muddy scrape dug by a hare, all the better.  Easily spooked, if people approach their nest, they take off, leaving their eggs alone with the hares.

And thus began the legend of hares laying eggs, that eventually led us the Easter bunny.

As to the origin of Peeps, you’re on your own.


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