23 September 2007

Love Rabbit (1906, 1907, 1909, 1913)

If there's one thing that rabbits know about, it's love. Thus the old saying, "[love] like rabbits." So what better place to start digging an archaeology of the heart than the county where bunnies once ruled? Back in those days, folks did some things differently, especially in the area of getting started on marriage earlier in life. But other things never change, and there's plenty of that old familiar heartache to go around. I selected the following RECORD excerpts mainly because the couples (for better or worse) somehow selected each other.

The Daughter of John W. Griffin and Charles Young ("Local Records", 1906 Dec 27)
On Christmas eve the fourteen-year old daughter of Mr. John W. Griffin, of this township, eloped with Mr. Charles Young, formerly of Durham but who has been running a saw-mill near here for several months. They drove to Sanford and thence went by train to Durham to be married.

Man Marries Son's Widow ("Local Records", 1907 July 11)

Did you ever hear of a man marrying the widow of his son? There is a man in this county who married his deceased son's widow, and is the stepfather of his own grandchildren. Such a marriage brings about a medley of mixed kinship. For instance, the children of such a marriage are the uncles and aunts of their half-brothers and sisters!

A Night in the Forest ("Local Records", 1909 July 21)
Mr. and Mrs. J.W. White, an aged couple who live near Rocky river, about 7 miles from here, were taking a ride in a buggy one evening last week when some part of the harness broke, and both got out of the buggy to fix it. While they were at work on the harness, the mule in some way got entirely loose from the buggy and dashed off into the woods. Mr. and Mrs. White followed, and after vainly trying for some little time to catch the mule they attempted to return out to the road to their buggy, but soon found they were lost, in the woods. It being then dark, they concluded it better to stop where they were and spend the night than to ramble about in the woods. Mrs. White when asked how she fared through the night, said being very tired she pillowed her head on her husband's bosom and had a very good night's rest, though the night was cool and Mr. White had no coat and she no shawl or wrap.

Maggie Waters and James W. Pearce ("Chathamite's Romantic Marriage", 1909 September 29)
Special to News and Observer.

Greenville, N.C., Sept. 21. -- A romance that started from an advertisement in the News and Observer last March, concluded in a marriage here this afternoon. The parties to this romance were Mr. James W. Pearce, of Chatham county, and Mrs. Maggie Waters of Pinetown, Beaufort county. Mrs. Waters advertised in the News and Observer for a position as governess and Mr. Pearce answered the advertisement. From this a correspondence arose between, followed later by an exchange of photographs, a courtship by mail and finally a proposition to meet at a given point. The place of meeting agreed upon was Greenville, and both Mr. Pearce and Mrs. Waters reached here yesterday. They then met each other for the first time, and found no occasion for disappointment on the part of either. They decided to get married here and the ceremony was performed at Hotel Mason this afternoon by Rev. J.H. Shore, pastor of the Methodist church. Mr. and Mrs. Pearce, with the latter's little daughter, left on the 6:20 train for Raleigh, and from there will go on to the home of the bridgegroom near Siler City.

[Our congratulations are extended to the happy couple and we wish them much happiness. ED. RECORD.]

Josie Hammock and Benny Pegram ("Local Records", 1913)
June 11: On last Monday, about 7 o'clock p.m., Mr. Benny Pegram and Miss Josie Hammock left here in a carriage for Durham, where they were to be married, so it is said. Both are employed in the hosiery mill here, which seems to be a favorite place to promote marriages.
June 18: The couple that ran away from here on Monday of last week returned on last Saturday with a marriage certificate showing that they had been married at Richmond, Virginia. They first tried to get a marriage license at Durham, but could not succeed because of the youth of the bride, she being only fifteen years old. They went then to Raleigh, but could not get a license there, and therefore to Richmond. They are residing at the residence of Mr. S.G. Gunter.

Mamie Bounds and Henderson Cole, Jr. ("Secret Marriage Announced", 1913 June 25)
On the night of the first of last November there was a marriage at this place that was kept a secret until last week, when it was made public by the parties thereto. The couple were Mr. Henderson Cole, Jr., and Miss Mamie Bounds, both of Wilmington, and the announcement of their marriage was made last week in the Wilmington papers.

On the night of November 1st they arrived here on the train from Moncure and applied to Mr. John W. Johnson, our register of deeds, for a marriage license. He was at first doubtful about issuing the license, fearing that the lady was not eighteen years old, but she and the expectant groom insisted so earnestly that she was nineteen years old that he decided to take the risk and issue the license. They went to the residence of Squire Robert M. Burns, who with impressive manner soon married them, the witnesses being Sheriff Lane, Mrs. R.M. Burns and Miss Myrtle Siler.

The happy couple requested that their marriage be kept a secret until they were ready to announce it, and so well kept was their secret that nobody here knew anything about it. The groom was a student at Elon College and the bridge a stenographer in the office of the Southern Express Company at Wilmington, and they did not wish their marriage made until he graduated and she was afraid of losing her position if her marriage was known. They met by appointment here because, as they said, this place was so retired and quiet they thought that their marriage could better be kept a secret here than elsewhere.

The Gilbert-Gill Affair ("Local Records", 1913)
July 9: A few days ago a warrant was issued by N.J. Wilson, a justice of the peace of New Hope township, for the arrest of J.E. Gill, a Wake County man, for eloping with the wife of W.W. Gilbert, formerly of Wake county but recently employed by Kelly Bros., saw-mill operators in New Hope township. Gill is a married man and is said to be well connected and possession some property.
July 16: Mention was made in these columns last week of a warrant having been issued in New Hope township recently for a man named J.E. Gill for abducting the wife of one W.W. Gilbert. After Gill's arrest in Wake county the woman came back to her husband who thereupon refused to prosecute Gill and asked that the warrant be dismissed, which was done for lack of evidence.

Betty Henderson and Ernest Petty ("Local Records", 1913 August 6)
- On last Sunday morning Ernest Petty, the 16-year-old son of Stephen Petty, of Hadley township, and Miss Betty Henderson, the 15-year-old daughter of Mr. Hiram Henderson, were married, both parties having the written consent of their parents when they obtained license from Register of Deeds Johnson on Saturday. The same day the couple were married the father of the young woman was drowned, as mentioned elsewhere in this issue.

- On last Sunday afternoon, Mr. Hiram Henderson, of Hadley township, started from his house on foot to a neighbor's and nothing later being heard of him, a searching party was organized to look for him. His tracks were seen as far as Dark's ford on Dry Creek which was greatly swollen all day by the heavy rains on Sunday morning. Monday morning his dead body was found on a fish-trap about half a mile below the ford which he is supposed to have entered not known how deep it was.
Ernest and Betty enjoyed 45 years together. Hiram and his wife, Bettie, lie not too far away.


Anna said...

Humans' relationship with rabbits

Humans' relationship with the European (sometimes called true) rabbit was first recorded by the Phoenicians earlier than 1000 BC, when they termed the Iberian Peninsula i-shfaním (literally, the land of the hyraxes). This phrase is pronounced identically in modern Hebrew: i (אי) meaning island and shafan (שפן) meaning hyrax; shfaním (שפנים) is the plural form. Phoenicians called the local rabbits hyraxes because hyraxes resemble rabbits in some ways, and were probably more common than rabbits in their native land (the Levant) at the time. Hyraxes, like rabbits, are not rodents. According to one theory, Romans converted the phrase i-shfaním to its Latin form, Hispania, which evolved into the modern Spanish word España, English Spain, and such other variations of modern languages. The precise meaning of shafan remains unclear, but the balance of opinion appears to indicate that the hyrax is indeed the intended meaning.[4]

The European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is the only species of rabbit to be domesticated. All pet breeds of rabbits, such as dwarf lops and angoras, are of this species. However, rabbits and humans interact in many different ways beyond domestication. Rabbits are an example of an animal that is treated as food, pet, and pest by members of the same culture.

Quote taken from Wikipedia:

Folklore and mythology

The rabbit often appears in folklore as the trickster archetype, as he uses his cunning to outwit his enemies.

* In Chinese literature, rabbits accompany Chang'e on the Moon. Also associated with the Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year), rabbits are also one of the twelve celestial animals in the Chinese Zodiac for the Chinese calendar. It is interesting to note that the Vietnamese lunar new year replaced the rabbit with a cat in their calendar, as rabbits did not inhabit Vietnam.

* In Japanese tradition, rabbits live on the Moon where they make mochi, the popular snack of mashed sticky rice. This comes from interpreting the pattern of dark patches on the moon as a rabbit standing on tiptoes on the left pounding on an usu, a Japanese mortar (See also: Moon rabbit). A popular culture manifestation of this tradition can be found in the character title character of Sailor Moon, whose name is Usagi Tsukino, a Japanese pun on the words "rabbit of the moon." Similarly, Japanese-American Stan Sakai's comic book character Usagi Miyamoto from Usagi Yojimbo is an anthropomorphized rabbit who is a samurai, based loosely on Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.

* A Korean myth similar to the Japanese counterpart also presents rabbits living on the moon making rice cakes (Tteok in Korean), although not specified as mochi (rice cakes that have sweet red bean paste fillings).

* In Aztec mythology, a pantheon of four hundred rabbit gods known as Centzon Totochtin, led by Ometotchtli or Two Rabbit, represented fertility, parties, and drunkenness.

* In Native American Ojibwe mythology, Nanabozho, or Great Rabbit, is an important deity related to the creation of the world.

* In the folklore of the United States, a rabbit's foot is frequently carried as an amulet, and is often used as keychain, where it is thought to bring luck. The practice derives from the system of African-American folk magic called hoodoo.

* In Central Africa "Kalulu" the rabbit is widely known as a tricky character, getting the better of bargains. [citation needed]

* In Jewish folklore, rabbits (shfanim) are associated with cowardice.

On the Isle of Portland in Dorset, UK, the rabbit is said to be unlucky and speaking its name can cause upset with older residents. This is thought to date back to early times in the quarrying industry, where piles of extracted stone (not fit for sale) were built into tall rough walls (to save space) directly behind the working quarry face; the rabbit's natural tendency to burrow would weaken these "walls" and cause collapse, often resulting in injuries or even death.

The name rabbit is often substituted with words such as “long ears” or “underground mutton”, so as not to have to say the proper name and bring bad luck to one’s self. It is said that a Public House (on the Island) can be cleared of people by calling out the word rabbit and while this was very true in the past, it has gradually become more fable than fact over the past 50 years.

Quote taken from Wikipedia:

I really like the Aztec's view of our snuggly little friends.

tommy yum said...

Some interesting Cherokee rabbit lore:

"First and most prominent in the animal myths is the Rabbit (Tsistu), who figures always as a trickster and deceiver, generally malicious, but often beaten at his own game by those whom he had intended to victimize. The connection of the rabbit with the dawn god and the relation of the Indian myths to the stories current among the southern negroes are discussed in another place.

Ball players while in training are forbidden to eat the flesh of the rabbit, because this animal so easily becomes confused in running. On the other hand, their spies seek opportunity to strew along the path which must be taken by their rivals a soup made of rabbit hamstrings, with the purpose of rendering them timorous in action."

Comment taken from here: http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TheFour-footedTribes-Cherokee.html

Rabbit said...

Rabbits appear often as trickster figures in modern literature and contemporary pop culture.

* The rabbit in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the title of the first chapter, "Down the Rabbit-Hole" inspired a vernacular phrase meaning "in a non-linear realm". The famous druggie song "White Rabbit" references the book.

* The rabbit is the object of the iconic magician's trick of pulling something from a hat. Perhaps a reference to the animal's famous fecundity?

* Bugs Bunny, triumphant trickster.

* In the US, a breakfast cereal called Trix features a rabbit as its advertising mascot. The rabbit tries unsuccessfully to trick children into giving him the cereal, making him a kind of anti-Bugs. According to the Wikipedia link above, the original mascot for Trix was a flamingo.

tommy yum said...

Lastly, I was able to find this wikipedia article on wikipedia:

"Wikipedia (IPA: /ˌwikiˈpiːdi.ə/, /ˌwikiˈpeːdi.ə/ or /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdi.ə/) (Audio (U.S.) (help·info)) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization."

Mirror is now perfectly aligned with mirror. Behold the infinite.

Quote taken from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia

Rabbit said...

That has absolutely nothing to do with either rabbits or love.

cottonmouth said...

I think it would appropriate here to note that the somewhat mythologized version of himself that Eminem played in 8 Mile was nicknamed B-Rabbit, a trickster who suckers MCs into riffing on his whiteness during battles, only to turn this to his advantage. Brer Rabbit = B-Rabbit? Not too unlikely a connection. Check this out: