AS EASTER MAKES ITS WAY INTO our midsections with bunny-themed confections, I give special prominence to the ancient symbol of fertility with a treat that won't result in muffin tops or toothaches. R. and L. Lambry's Les animaux tels qu'ils sont offer a charming step-by-step guide to illustrating over 60 different animals, including the rabbit and the hare, presented with appropriate, though normally overlooked, distinction.
Often confused as one and the same, les lapins differ from les liévres in their choice of habitat and in the way they are born. Whereas rabbits mainly live underground, hares live above ground in flattened nests called "forms". Without the security of a burrow, hares come into the world able to fend for themselves with good hair and vision, while rabbits are born hairless and blind. The two also differ in physique, with hares being larger in build, endowed with longer ears and hind legs.
Not exempt from this generalization is the Easter Bunny, commonly perceived to be a rabbit. With origins in pagan Germany, the Osterhase or "Easter Hare" traces back to the goddess Ēostre, said in legend to have been carried by hares.
Introductory pages from Les animaux tels qu'ils sont:
Bunny species aside, Les animaux tels qu'ils sont from Agence Eureka's Flickr stream is a golden egg of a resource that not only instructs in drawing but also pairs its illustrations with lovely, loopy cursive. Should you find yourself without Easter holiday plans, the nearly-100-page drawing guide makes a worthwhile alternative to egg-decorating.
Unfortunately, no amount of drawing can distract me from those chocolate bunnies. Chocolate hares anyone?
Les animaux tels qu'ils sont by R. and L. Lambry. Images from Patricia M. (Pillpat) of Agence Eureka, flickr.com