Thursday, January 31, 2008

More reading material from my bookshelf

A Friend for Little Brown Rabbit

Little Brown Rabbit had no friend.

Little Brown Rabbit saw a little white lamb.

"Little White Lamb, will be my friend."

"No," said the little white lamb.

Little Brown Rabbit saw a little white duck.

"Little White Duck, will you be my friend."

"No," said the little white duck.

Little Brown Rabbit saw a little white goat.

"Little White Goat, will you be my friend."

"No," said the little white goat.

Little Brown Rabbit saw a little white rabbit.

"Little White Rabbit, will you be my friend."

"Yes," said the little white rabbit, "I will be your friend."


Kevin Knox said...

I think pictures might add a little something to this, but I appreciate a blog that keeps it real.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

This post was partially in response to your question some time ago to the effect that, if women don't want someone to open the pickle jar, what do they want. I decided not to consult Freud, and thought this would do instead.

Peter Kirk said...

Good to see that there is no colour-based racism in the animal world, but should we be concerned about the species discrimination?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Here is my interpretation. [sigh]

The brown rabbit is Adam and the white rabbit is Eve. This is not about colour or race, because brown and white are presented as a duality and not as a spectrum.

It is best to be colour blind to appreciate this allegory. I do understand that there can be other ways of reading the text. Perhaps a reception history of this text will show the variety of ways it can be interpreted throughout the ages.

Peter Kirk said...

Ah, I see, Suzanne. Your interpretation of `ezer kenegdo in Genesis 2:18,20 as "one willing to be his friend" is interesting. But can it be supported from the Hebrew? I suspect that this requires that when reading the occurrences of `ezer referring to God you follow strictly Calvinist presuppositions that God was willing to be friends with humans even when humans were not willing to be his friend. So, since I am not a Calvinist, I will have to dissent from your interpretation. I will look for an alternative.


Psalmist said...

"Friend" is not adequate to equate to "ezer kenegdo," I agree. However, I think it works anyway. God is the one who observed that it was not good for the human creature to be alone. Upon the addition of the female creature, the male creature put it well: "Here, at last! There's finally somebody like me!" As one flesh, friendship is certainly one very important aspect of marriage; without it, I believe marriage is hopelessly bleak.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I was going to post something from Saint Augustine on the relationship between Adam and Eve before the fall. He thought that it was basically a friendship, which for him was antithetical to eros. So Adam ate the fruit "out of the good nature of a friend" so as to share her life.

I just felt that Little Brown Rabbit said the same thing with fewer words.

Peter Kirk said...

Kurk, if you want this put seriously, my objection to Suzanne's story as a parallel to Genesis 2 is that it makes the white animals decide whether or not to be the brown rabbit's friend, whereas in Genesis it seems to be Adam who decides that the animals are not suitable "helpers" and certainly him who accepted Eve as his "helper".

Peter Kirk said...

Sorry, Psalmist, for some reason I was thinking your comment was written by Kurk Gayle.

Psalmist said...

I readily concede that, like most analogies, it doesn't hold up in every respect. It worked for me. It was very easy to imagine the human creature, hungry for companionship with his own kind, desiring friendship where none was possible...until his fellow rabbit came into the picture.

As for the case of mistaken identity, absolutely no problem, Kurk. (grin)

Kevin Knox said...

Well said, Suzanne.

My only disappointment is that there are so few Little White Rabbits who will say, "Yes, I will be your friend."