I have already produced a hare screen print (see here) but thought it was about time I did a watercolour. People seem to love them. This one is legging it from something - probably a pack of dogs! In fact, hares (after foxes) are the most numerous prey of hunting activities in Britain, about 1600 are killed annually by packs of dogs. What a way to go! Run, run for your life. Apparently the hare has a greater volume of blood in its body than any other animal its size. This makes its meat very dark, it also presumably is necessary to carry enough oxygen arround its system to supply its running legs!
Hares have long been associated with people with hazardous occupations. Fishermen for example will not utter the word “hare” while at sea. They might not even get in their boats if they see a hare on the way to them. Miners similarly will not set foot in the mine shaft if they encounter a hare on the way to work.
One of the most common British old “hare” beliefs is the association with witches. It was thought that witches were capable of turning themselves into hares, presumably in order to do a runner from the trouble they had a hand, or a pointed nose, in.
Below in the painting in progress.
All images © Daniel Mackie
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In Greek mythology, Halcyone and Ceyx were lovers who incurred the wrath of the god Zeus by mocking him and his wife. Angered, Zeus killed Ceyx.