Stone walls and steel bars, a love on my mind, I’m a three-time loser, I’m long gone this time…

Judging from the attention these bunnies gave to the holes in their cell door, I think they were longing to try a jailbreak.  The Easter Bunny tradition came to the US with German immigrants, though back in the old country it was the Easter Hare.  The rabbit has long been associated with renewal and rebirth, thanks to its status as a prolific breeder.  In a single breeding season a female rabbit can produce as many as 800 children, grand-children, and great-grand-children!  While that’s impressive, consider the following:
– infant aphids are pregnant before they are born
– male seahorses are the ones that give birth
– a termite can produce up to 30,000 fresh house-eaters in a day, but hold on…
– each section of the tapeworm’s body can grow up to be a new tapeworm, and can produce a million baby tapeworms a day! We have a winner!  We saw the bunnies in the image below while hiking in the hills above Lake Como…their house may be a bit snug for their liking, but their view is spectacular.  (12 September, 2011  Lake Como, Italy)

Oh Death, Oh Death, won’t you spare me over ’till another year…

The title comes from a traditional Appalachian dirge made famous by Dr. Ralph Stanley.  We had lived in Oslo for more than a year, and I had walked this same path almost daily.  Today a truck was parked squarely in my usual path, and the detour to the other side of the road helped me notice the tiny brass plaques for the first time.  I don’t read Norwegian, but the word “Auschwitz” resonates in any language.  On 26 November, 1942, the local police rounded up the Jewish women and children (the men being already in custody) and transported them, some in taxis, to the waiting D/S Donau at Oslo’s pier for the trip to Stettin and onward to Auschwitz.  On December 1, shortly after arrival at the camp, the women in this group were gassed…it seems the men were gassed/beaten/starved/worked to death at later dates.  After the war, taxi operators sued the Norwegian government for back-wages owed them for transporting the Jews to their points of deportation.  I haven’t been able to determine whether the cabbies prevailed in court, but I hope not.  There were roughly 2,100 Jews in Norway during occupation.  Around 900 made it over the border to Sweden, usually with the help of Norwegians.  775 of them were arrested/detained/deported.  Ten lived through the experience.  Noticing those plaques, all that is left of what was probably an extended immigrant family who lived about a block away from me in the wrong place at the wrong time, makes me wonder what else I’m walking by every day and failing to recognize.  (23 September, 2011  Oslo, Norway)