Teaser Tuesday: Bunny-on-the-Wold

I’m learning all sorts of interesting things about my characters, old and new, as I write The Passion of the Purple Plumeria.

Among other things, for the very first time, we get to see Miles in situ in his family home, not Loring House in London, but the familial seat in Hampshire. It’s situated outside the small town of Bunny-on-the-Wold.

To anyone who was wondering if that’s a thinly veiled Blackadder reference, yes, yes, it is. They don’t have any dachshunds, though, and certainly not one named Colin. That might get a little confusing.

If you think the name of the town might be related to Henrietta’s stuffed animal, you’re also right. As some of you may recall, it was Miles who gave Henrietta her beloved stuffed animal, Bunny-the-bunny. Little had I known that this was a direct result of spending his early years at Bunny-on-the-Wold, where the bunny is something of a local mascot.

Local legend has it that the village of Bunny-on-the-Wold was founded when an archer, seeking his dinner, followed a fleeing hare through the forest. The bunny led him in twists and turns, far from home, until, bursting into a clearing, he found a crystal clear stream bounded by berry bushes by which slept a lady of surpassing loveliness. The bunny hopped away unmolested, the archer married the lady, and fresh raspberry jam was enjoyed by all. (Sadly, there are no such things as ginger biscuit bushes.)

Ever since then, Bunny-on-the-Wold has celebrated its founding rabbit with carrot festivals, a bizarre local folk dance including much hopping (and some rather suggestive tail waggling), and commemorative stuffed animals.

Let it be said, however, that Henrietta has drawn the line at wearing bunny ears for the local harvest festival. Miles, however, wears his ears with pride. They help hold back that floppy lock of hair.

(Don’t worry, neither the harvest festival nor the bunny dance is in the book. These are the things I save for you guys here on the website.)


  1. Christine on August 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Now I have the bunny hop stuck in my head. The image of British aristocracy line dancing like bunnies is quite amusing.

    And I would like to see the festival and dance in the book 😛

  2. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on August 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    My cousin just got back from Norway, where they celebrate Solstice with a parade of people dressed as bunnies… she still hasn’t figured out why.

  3. Maggie on August 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Well, I tend to think Bunny-on-the-Wold is infinitely superior to: Shitterton. The tiny Dorset village has earned the dubious distinction of owning the worst name in the United Kingdom. According to the Daily Mail Shitterton is at translation of the village name as it was written in Norman French in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book. In Domesday it was recorded as Scatera or Scetra that means a small town on a small flowing body of water.

    Imagine what Miles would have Henrietta had he grown up there?

  4. Sheila on August 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Lauren, this post has made my day ! My screen name on other boards is erbunny: the first two letters because of my job, the last part because of my near obsession with rabbits . Prints, jewelry, dinnerware, you would not believe what’s out there !

  5. Lucy D-G on August 22, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Mid-Autumn Bunny Festival in Asia, with moon cakes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival

    Especially in Japan, this festival served as an excuse for late-night partying in September.

  6. April on August 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Every time I read about this, I think of Wallace and Gromit! Uppington Hall, a Vegetable Festival, and Wererabbits! The Hall ended up as a rabbit preserve.

  7. Angie on August 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I just snorted my tea 🙂 What delightful backstory!

  8. suzan on August 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I pictured the bunny hop too. smiles. That’s easy about the rabbits and solstice. Rabbits are linked to pagan fertility rites. The encyclopedia either with spring fertility rites, Easter, rabbit, etc. I’m so looking forward to the purple plumeria.

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