Friday, February 1, 2008

Bunny the Birthday Squirrel

Digital color over cleaned scan of black Uni-ball® roller ball ink pen on paper.

Bunny is a celebratory mascot in the same fashion as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Meaning: he's a mascot that really has nothing to do with the historical roots of his associated holiday/celebration/event/occasion.

Now a two-year old creation, Bunny was something I dreamed up when I was issuing birthday announcements at work. Primarily, I thought it would help the message be more an announcement and less a personal message from myself. Secondarily, Bunny was a way to interject some goofiness if not fun. Tertiarily, birthdays need a mascot as much as Easter and Christmas and et al.

Yes, Bunny is a squirrel, and NOT a rabbit. (That's wacky, right?)

And, yes, (if you've been paying attention), Bunny is a BOY squirrel. Aren't all the best American mascot/character icons boys: Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Cap'n Crunch, Mr. Bubbles, et cetera? Not that I'm saying that's right. Not that I'm issuing a challenge to prove me wrong. But really, it's such a long list that the statement may as well be true.

Once upon a time, birthdays has no mascot. Oh, what woeful, piteous days those were.

Then a mascot for birthdays was chosen, or rather mascots, plural. They were a flock of sparrows: peace-loving, Earth-loving, love-loving sparrows. They were hippies - "hippie birdies" Unfortunately, even a flock of hippie birdies was not responsible enough to cover the daily celebrations that birthdays are. They were sacked.

Then a new mascot was chosen: Bert the Hippopotamus. Hilarity ensued. Then he was sacked.

Then some thrity plus contenders popped up on making birthday rounds.

In the end, a very eager, energetic and wholly optimistic (perhaps exceedingly so) squirrel rose above the crowd to be the sole birthday mascot, partly through pure "stick-to-it-tivness" and partly through natural attrition. That squirrel's name was "Buddy" as announced by a huge greeting card corporation.

Some years later, "Buddy", having gained popularity in North America, would exert his celebrity and travel by his given name "Bunny."

Now, ev'ry body sing.

If you need a melody, try the one accompanying Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum's tale of "The Walrus and the Carpenter (or "The Story of the Curious Oysters") " from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

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