Today at the Rotten Library I learned . . .
Nowadays I’m likely as not to regard a mounted jackalope as something far more weird than cute, but when I was a kid I thought they were the coolest things. They had one at the clubhouse at Woodmont, and it impressed me far more than the giant water buffalo or elk or wild boar. As an adult, I find jackalopes a little creepy. Afterall, as the Rotten article states so perfectly, they’re the result of someone killing two animals and attaching their carcasses to one another because they think it looks funny.
Jackalopes like the one to the left are completely mythical, but they may have been inspired by actual rabbits suffering from the cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV), a viral cancer that causes horn-like growths on the head. The growths aren’t always on the crown out of the way — they can be near the mouth, where they interfere with the rabbit’s ability to eat and lead to starvation. It’s a really sad disease, actually. On the upside, it was the sequencing of CRPV that led to the cervical cancer-preventing vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) which evangelical Christians are currently fighting tooth-and-nail to keep your daughters from receiving.
The Rotten article also mentions jackalopes being sold at roadside attractions and mail-order taxidermy outfits. I did some research and found a lovely website called Jackalope Junction that does just that. For only $99.95 you can have a shoulder-mounted jackalope on a “rustic rough Wyoming cedar wood slab.” If you’re ready to shell out $219.95, you can have the impressive full body mount, described as “a gift that will be remembered and talked about for years to come.” Or, if you’d like to preempt that particular conversation between your traumatized child and his or her guidance counselor, you can get a plush jackalope which, presumably, required no shedding of blood in its fabrication — on special for only $14.95, so get yours right away!