Spring is in the air and we know this because the humidity is causing some spontaneous sweat. Up north it’s easy to differentiate the changing seasons. It snows, it doesn’t snow. Here we know Spring has sprung when grasshoppers start to band together and swoop in on the outside cat’s food dish causing the cat to exhibit un-cat-like behavior like asking us for more food. Dogs do that. Cats don’t beg.

The Spring holiday of Easter is here with its blossoming plants, erupting allergies and drumming woodpeckers. Oh yes, and an animal. Every holiday has an animal and Easter has its bunny. The Easter bunny has enjoyed a long, storied history with the season, and we may ask why.

The Easter season comes with all the pomp and circumstance associated with this special time of year like coloring eggs, the egg dance, egg hunt, egg tapping and egg tossing games. That’s a lot of eggs! The official critter of Easter shouldn’t be the bunny, it should be the chicken. It’s the chicken who is most intimately associated with the egg. Which came first? Doesn’t matter.

By the way, how did a bunny get the coveted slot of symbolizing the Easter season? Did the bunny have enough ‘likes’ on its Facebook page? Did it have a good lawyer? Did the armadillo not get enough votes? If bunnies laid eggs, it would be the perfect match. If egg laying were the criteria, we might possibly have had the Easter turtle; much easier to catch than the chicken.

Throughout our history animals have held central positions in our holidays. The obvious would be the turkey, who was in the running to be our national symbol instead of the eagle. It was a close race and today we eat turkey and revere eagles. Don’t lose that ballot, you’ll be dinner. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer is a cherished Christmas icon, but Santa almost chose the penguin. It was close, but the reins kept slipping off and the sled went nowhere.

Our lessor holidays like Arbor Day, National Teflon Day and on April 15th, National Take A Wild Guess Day (True) do not have an animal representation. National Teflon day could certainly utilize the slippery eel as its mascot. Punxsutawney Phil, the 6 more weeks of winter mascot has been trying to get out of appearing every year being pulled out of a small box, held up like a crying child and stuffed back during his (Or her) only raison d’etre. The rest of the year the poor creature sits alone and forgotten until February comes around. Come on, it doesn’t even know what the weather will be like on its big day.

A new poll found that the least popular holiday is Valentine’s Day. I’m sure they’re right since a rose and a box of chocolates are not animals. What animal would be appropriate? Let’s help this holiday by supporting an animal that could represent the love that Valentine’s Day embodies. Swans are known for being one of the most romantic bird species in the world. Most swans mate with a single partner for the rest of their lives and that is because swans do not have divorce attorneys.

Some animals have holidays just for them like National Hug Your Cat Month coming up this June. You’ll get a whole month to try and hug your cat and you’ll need it but please try your hardest on the actual date which is June 4th this year. There is generally an uptick of visits to the emergency room for cat scratch fever the day after. Whoever thought this one up has never tried to hug a cat. They don’t like hugs. It coincides this year with National Black Bear Day. Don’t try to hug them either.

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Buzz Fleischman is a Humorist and singer/songwriter of ‘irregular songs for regular people’ and a character actor who has appeared in and voiced TV commercials and radio. He currently hosts and produces the Joltradio.org interview show “On the Record and Off the Wall’. http://www.joltradio.org/artist/on-the-record-and-off-the-wall-with-buzz-fleischman Buzz was the humorist on the NPR affiliate WLRN for 12 years and has been a featured speaker for significant local and national conferences, conventions and organizations. He is a docent at the Curtiss Mansion and is fascinated by the history of Miami Springs and its interesting residents. http://www.theradiobuzz.com


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