Do you wake up and say “rabbit rabbit rabbit” first day of the month?
Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Folkways
My 100 percent USDA-certified, corn-fed, midwestern Illinois self had never heard of this before today. But I understand that this is a longstanding New England and UK tradition (superstition)?
Just to be sure, I asked my 100 percent USDA-certified, corn-fed, Plains-States* Kansas spouse if he’d ever heard of this.
“Nope. Is it a superstition?” he asked.
“I think so. At least, to me it is. But the folklorists at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress would debate me, I suspect.”
Illustration by Paul Frame, 1965 Golden Press Deluxe edition of Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Emeralds.
“So if I remember to say this tomorrow, I won’t die of COVID?” he asked. (The tongue-in-cheek did not interfere with his diction.)
“Exactly!” I said (because we’ve both been vaccinated since February and will be first in line for boosters when eligible).
Trixie Belden and Rabbit Rabbit
Chapter 1 of the Trixie Belden story The Mystery of the Emeralds (1962) is titled “Rabbit! Rabbit!” and discusses the tradition:
Trixie Belden awoke slowly, with the sound of a summer rain beating against her window. She half-opened her eyes, stretched her arms above her head, and then, catching sight of a large sign tied to the foot of her bed, yelled out, “Rabbit! Rabbit!” She bounced out of bed and ran out of her room and down the hall. “I’ve finally done it!” she cried […] “Well, ever since I was Bobby’s age I’ve been trying to remember to say ‘Rabbit! Rabbit!’ and make a wish just before going to sleep on the last night of the month. If you say it again in the morning, before you’ve said another word, your wish comes true.” Trixie laughed.
“Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit” First Day of the Month
You’ll notice I’ve conveniently posted this before September 1 for readers in North America, at least. Personally, I always used to say, “Payday payday payday!” the first day of the month. And no harm in changing to rabbit rabbit rabbit first day of the month.
Add this to questions you ask older members of your family. And let me know the results.
*Plains-States – Because “Plains States” was a region in my 5th-grade geography textbook – and it makes sense – I’ve always thought of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa as the midwestern states. North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas are Plains States. Let’s not debate Missouri right now. 🙂