Late October, as we pivot towards darkness and Nature’s macabre metamorphoses, is the most appropriate time of year to put together a Lycanthropy section. So we did; here you go. But speaking of sections, and nature, and creatures that HOWL: our juvenile literature section was recently the subject of some Internet interestIt’s important to categorise your children’s books accurately pic.twitter.com/exkU6hXuqz— Clare Jones (@Illessa) October 9, 2017 , and while thousands of “likes” and “retweets” did give us fleeting dopamine boosts and a (admittedly Warhol-esque) sense of celebrity, we also were finally introduced to a particular pedant: the Rabbit Truther. It makes me irrationally angry that rabbits aren’t rodents. :P— Vir Virilis (@Ashinsai) October 10, 2017@ThePaperHound rabbits aren’t rodents though— Pumpkin Bryce Latte (@sandchigger) October 11, 2017 peter rabbit is neither a rodent nor a hero!! goodness gracious. “harumph”, and all that.— dirt 💸 MFF (@ClownGay) October 10, 2017
Reader, ever since christening a shelf “Rodent as Hero” four years ago, I have anticipated the blowback and call-outs from this nit-picky specimen. Look: I understand having a dogmatic enthusiasm for accurate taxonomy. I’M THE SAME WAY. And so I KNOW that rabbits are currently classified as lagomorphs, and not rodents. However, up until 1912, biologists recognized rabbits as card-carrying members of the order Rodentia. Beatrix Potter wrote and published The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of a Fierce Bad Rabbit, and The Flopsy Bunnies between 1902 and 1909. I see no reason why Beatrix Potter’s rabbits should not be grandfathered (grandbunnied) into a class of literary rodents. And in the spirit of unity, I would admit other later literary lagomorphs (bygone book bunnies; recently read rabbits) to join them on the same shelf. My god, people, do they not all NIBBLE?Anyways, where do you think we should shelve the werewolf books?