The Rabbit on the Moon

Conejo

The moon is definitely the lovers’ favourite celestial body. It’s had songs, poems and verses dedicated to and we even use it to compare it’s glow with the beauty of our beloved one’s smile.

Surrounded by mysticism, the moon has always captivated humanity. We’ve turned it into the protagonist of shiver-inducing horror stories, for she’s the one that turns man into wolf and the one witness to nocturnal sorcery. Mysticism aside, the moon’s also relevant from a scientific point of view for without it, a big part of the world would disappear and we wouldn’t live in the relative order with which we live now.

You’ve probably admired it more than once, you’ve let your eyes caress it’s surface with detail and maybe, just maybe, you’ve discovered the silhouette of a rabbit engraved on its surface. If you have, don’t worry for you’re not the only one. Many have noticed it when the moon is full and the skies are clear.

A Mexican legend tells the story of how a rabbit managed to get all the way up there. Legend says that the god Quetzalcóatl, the Feathered Serpent, descended to the Earth disguised as a man, just to see what it was like to live like one. He wandered all day and all night marvelled at everything he found on his path: the birds’ flight, the flowers’ scents, the murmur of running water, the warmth of the sun and the freshness of the wind; but he also felt hunger, thirst, fatigue and pain.

With the full moon at its peak he took a moment to rest. In the small clearing he chose to rest in he came across a rabbit as white as a summer cloud. The rabbit, upon seeing the man so tired and battered, decided to offer him some grass to eat. Quetzalcóatl politely declined the offered herb, saying he didn’t eat grass.

“I can’t hunt or fish and I’m afraid of water, I suppose I’ll just starve to death”, Quetzalcóatl said. The rabbit, unaware that this was a deity he was talking to, willingly offered his life so the man could eat. Quetzalcóatl, moved by the rabbit’s sacrifice, told him he’d be remembered for all time by mankind for offering his own life to save someone else’s. The god took the rabbit in his hands carefully and raised him towards the moon. Using the rays of light from the sun, he engraved the rabbit’s shadow on the moon’s surface as a memorial to such a noble sacrifice, filled with innocence and purity.

Ever since that day, every rabbit hops. They all leap as high as they can, trying to reach the immortality achieved by that first rabbit.

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