Have you heard the tale of the Christmas Cottontail?
On Christmas Eve, a tiny little bunny known as the Christmas Cottontail rides along with Santa Claus as he travels around the world delivering toys and gifts to all the good girls and boys.
A relative of the sweet little Easter Bunny and the devious Halloween Hare, the Christmas Cottontail was discovered by Santa Claus on one of the earliest Christmas Eve’s when Santa found him half-starved munching on some carrots that someone had left out for the reindeer.
Taking pity on the poor bunny, Santa took him back to the North Pole and named him the Christmas Cottontail.
Over the next spring, summer, and fall, Santa and his gardening elves trained the bunny how to properly scatter seeds and plant bulbs in the flick of a whisker so he could keep up with Santa as he delivered toys and gifts.
So now every year, the Christmas Cottontail checks his list of good gardeners and bad gardeners, packs his seeds and bulbs, and flies off with Santa Claus and his reindeer.
At the good gardeners’ houses, he scatters the seeds and plants the bulbs to bloom at Easter time. At the bad gardeners' houses, he stays in the sleigh and waits for Santa.
At every house he looks for carrots left for the reindeer and sneaks a bite or two for himself and then gives the rest to the reindeer.
Gardeners then have to wait until spring to find out if the Christmas Cottontail visited their garden on Christmas Eve. If there are blooms in early spring it means the gardener was good and the Christmas Cottontail worked his magic. If there are no blooms in the springtime, it means the Christmas Cottontail decided the gardener was bad and stayed in the sleigh.
I advise you not to take the visit of the Christmas Cottontail too lightly. If he doesn’t leave you any seeds or bulbs at Christmas time, there is the possibility that the Easter Bunny won’t see any blooms and stop by in the spring. That means you won’t have any candy in your garden to leave for the Halloween Hare, which means there could be trouble in the fall.
To stop this vicious cycle, and to make sure that you are treated well by the Easter Bunny, the Halloween Hare, and the Christmas Cottontail, I recommend you just be good, for goodness sake. You have just a few weeks to make amends for any bad behavior this year!
And never forget that our actions today can affect our spring garden in the future, in more ways than we realize.
(The picture above is not the Christmas Cottontail, it’s just one of many tree ornaments I have that have a bunny theme, to go along with all those with a gardening theme. You’d have to be pretty quick and wait up very late on Christmas Eve to even have a chance of seeing and photographing the Christmas Cottontail.)