Long term readers of my blog will know of my attachment to the brown hare. It is by far my favourite wild animal and I have spent the last few years collecting images - card, statuettes etc. Every time I get enough cards I put them into a clip frame and the poor old farmer has to knock another nail into the wall of the utility room.
A new clip frame has arrived this week and I have enough cards to fill it.
I already have one large life-sized statue of a hare and today a new one has arrived - courtesy of the farmer - as my early Christmas present.
I always say that some images have 'hare-ness' and some do not, but this statuette (as you will see from the photograph) definitely has it in spades.
I have always loved the hare. Lincolnshire, which is where I was born, is a fenland county and typical hare country. They were familiar animals when I was a child and I have always loved them. Less familiar now, because they have been persecuted and also the structure of farming has changed and not in their favour. My mother's favourite meal was jugged hare, but we will draw a veil over that - sufficient to say that I never ever tasted it and even the smell of it cooking made me feel ill.
Hares are surrounded by magic. The goddess Freya had a hare as her familiar and the animal is steeped in folklore. They never go under ground, as rabbits do, but birth and rear their young, mainly in furrows of ploughed fields.
It is said that they sleep with their eyes open and that they dance to the music of time. In Spring the males box and I have often seen this happen here in the Dales from my bedroom window, as the field opposite seems to attract them in Spring.
I hope you love my new hare as much as I do. I keep going into the room to admire him.