For as long as I can remember, my mother has said “White rabbits, white rabbits, white bunny rabbits” on the first day of every month to ensure good luck for the duration of that month.
It got to be a bit of competition among my siblings and me to see who could say white rabbits first on the first. It must be said we are a bit of a competitive family. So I say to you “White rabbits, white rabbits” for today 1 February.
I often wondered where the phrase came from. It is theorised that White rabbits, white rabbits’ was written in the ‘Notes and Queries’ book from 1909. It reads “My two daughters are in the habit of saying ‘Rabbits!’ on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. Other children, I find, use the same formula”. The RAF bomber aircrew during WW2 were also said to be in the habit of that saying “white rabbits” when they woke up as a form of protection. Goodness knows they needed it.
But when we were growing up we had other first of the month sayings too and these came with an excuse to give your sibling a thump. Of course I am alluding to “pinch punch first day of the month” Apparently if your pinch and punch is followed immediately with the words, “White rabbits, no return”, you can’t be pinched back. Some bright sparks even shot back with ‘A flick and a kick for being so quick’.
While we were busy giving each other a decent pinch and a punch we gave no thought to the derivation of that phrase either. It is said that when US President George Washington met local Indian tribes on the first day of each month, he would supply fruit punch with an added pinch of salt. This tradition became known as ‘pinch and punch on the first of the month’. Who knows??
I do know that I am liking my white rabbit wrap. At first I stated off with white rabbits paper only but I was looking for more of a pop, so I put my white rabbits to the background and punched ahead with pink rabbits on a white paper – not sure if they are magenta or fuchsia – but it does not matter. I added in little black ribbon that has been twisted for contrast texture and voila! A wrap and a tweak for the first of the week!