A Bodaciously Bold Big Bend Texas Blue Bunny Brazenly Browses
Beside A Beautifully Blooming Brownsville Bush
" X 36"
By Sherrell Hazlewood
The Texas Blue Bunny
When an adventurous world traveler says, "Texas"
in any remote corner of this planet earth, the most illiterate
aborigine will make the association and respond with "Texas
Blue Bunny". There are Japanese, Afghanistan, Jamaicans,
Australians, Russians, and others who flock to Texas annually
in hopes of spotting the ubiquitous Texas Blue Bunny. Many tourists
to Texas will demand to see a Texas Blue Bunny even before they
have seen Seven Flags, Stock Tank World, Slithersliden, or the
Texans show a special pride in displaying their
affection for their unique Blue Bunny in a variety of ways. Texans
flock to art galleries that feature Blue Bunny paintings in hopes
of finding affordable works to grace their homes. Some Texans
even have their walls painted with Blue Bunny scenes of the Texas
Hill Country to soothe their nostalgia for the days when there
was a Texas Hill Country. Blue Bunny scenes are found on T- shirts,
coffee cups, cowboy boots, and stationery. There are many Texas
artists who make a very good living by painting nothing but Texas
There is no greater demonstration of Texan culture than to see
a Texan sitting in a trucker's cafe wearing his Texas Blue Bunny
emblazoned T-shirt under his Texas Blue Bunny embroidered "gimme"
cap with his Texas Blue Bunny hand made cowboy boots drinking
coffee from a hand painted Texas Blue Bunny coffee mug while he
gazes up at a wall sized Texas Blue Bunny Hill Country scene displayed
behind the waitresses and the cafe counter. This display of Texan
culture is even more complete when one realizes that this tough
Texan, reaches into his hip pocket from time to time to read and
reread a tear stained letter with beautiful Texas Blue Bunny borders
that he has received from his mother or his girl friend. If he
wants to answer the letter, he can always purchase a Texas Blue
Bunny scene post card at the truck stop.
What is this creature, this animal, this mammal
that inspires such folk worship and devotion in Texas? Scientifically
speaking, the Texas Blue Bunny is a young rabbit, a small long-
eared mammal (Oryctolagus cuniculus texanus caeruleus) that is related to the ordinary
hares but differs from them in that the Blue Bunny's young are
born naked and blue. Within a week or so the Blue Bunny young
are covered with downy light blue fur that becomes somewhat ultramarine
blue in the more mature Blue Bunny. The mature Blue Bunny develops
its unusual markings at about six months. These distinctive markings
are irregular patterns of cadmium red, yellow ochre, titanium
white, and cobalt blue spots on the Bunny's back.
There are no distinguishing characteristics between the male and
the female Texas Blue Bunny. Only a highly trained A&M Ph.D.
Bunniologist or another Texas Blue Bunny can tell the difference.
No one else seems to care. There is no more awe-inspiring sight
than a green field teeming with Texas Blue Bunnies in the springtime.
If you listen closely for the comments of spectators to this beautiful
natural phenomena, you will not hear questions as to whether these
are girl Blue Bunnies or boy Blue Bunnies. There is no need for
anyone to debate whether it is a girl Blue Bunny or a boy Blue
Bunny unless the government decides to use the Texas Blue Bunny
for scientific experiments. Then; of course, equal opportunity
and quota laws apply and sex must be determined. Unlike the Texas armadillo, there has never been a documented instance of a single Texas Blue Bunny road kill.
The Blue Bunny's habitat is the prairies, savannas,
grasslands, and pastures of Texas. The Blue Bunny is a locally
common resident over most of the state of Texas, but apparently
withdraws from the Panhandle in winter. The Blue Bunny's winter
distribution is poorly known, but there have been no winter sightings
of the Blue Bunny north of Big Springs or west of No Trees. There
has been Blue Bunny springtime sightings as far west as El Paso,
as far south as Brownsville, as far east as Texarkana, and as
far north as Amarillo.
The Texas Blue Bunny is apparently extinct in Houston, Dallas,
Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin. One is no more likely to
see a Texas horn toad than a Texas Blue Bunny in these barely
habitable metropolises. The last known Austin Blue Bunny sighting
was in 1949 near Zilker Park. The Texas Blue Bunny disappeared
from the Dallas-Fort Worth area shortly before completion of DFW
Air Terminal. There have been no Blue Bunny sightings in the Houston
area since 1940. There have been reported sightings in the San
Antonio area as late as 1970, but this has not been confirmed.
Historically the Blue Bunny was plentiful from
the Colorado Rockies to Louisiana. Fossil remains have been found
in Alaska and Patagonia. Ms. Frieda Blutcher in her 1856 pioneer
classic, Bumping Across Texas, tells of seeing Texas Blue Bunnies
every day from their wagons during the forty-three days it took
Frieda and her family to cross Texas on their way from Miami to
Los Angeles. Cuthbert Greenwood writes in his 1834 diary that
he and his trapping party saw Texas Blue Bunnies cavorting with beavers
from Taos to Denver as late as September of that year. Steiner
McCoy's romantic paintings of 18th century Western Americana include
numerous scenes depicting Blue Bunnies and buffaloes.
What is behind this new interest in the Texas
Blue Bunny? Why should we concern ourselves with an animal that
can't be eaten, won't make our car run better, can't be hunted,
and has no commodity value? Perhaps the answer is that the value
of the Texas Blue Bunny is in the beauty and admiration that inspires
us when we see the Texas Blue Bunny hopping wild and free over
the unspoiled green Texas prairies of springtime.
There are still Blue Bunnies in Texas. If you
are persistent; and not near an interstate or a freeway, you will
see them. Until the entire surface of the state of Texas becomes
a high-rise parking lot for Dallas or Austin, one can hope that
the Texas Blue Bunny survives. There will probably always be Texas
Blue Bunnies. But, no one is for sure. Texans should not take
chances. Let some one else worry about those polar bears, seals and whales.
Texans must save the Texas Blue Bunny.
Obese Texas Blue Bunny
Mixed Media (Acrylics and Pen)
5" X 7"
By Sherrell L. Hazlewood
An Over Eating Obese Texas Blue Bunny Poses
Somewhere Near Pecos
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