History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Let's Talk About the Blarney Stone

Most people who celebrate St Patrick's Day either know of, or have heard of, the Blarney Stone but few actually know anything about the stone itself or why so many people want to kiss the Blarney Stone. So let's answer all these questions now.

The Blarney Stone is a large block of blue limestone that currently sits in an outer wall of Blarney Castle not far from the city of Cork in Ireland. The Legend of the Blarney Stone started in the 12th Century; however it was never written down until 1584. My guess though, is the legend is about 95% accurate. So take a moment, sit back and read this informative article. Its fun trivia and you will learn something new. 

Scholars tell us the Blarney Stone originally came from the middle east - near the Holy Lands. It was brought to Europe by the knights returning from the crusaders. Now there are two theories regarding why the Blarney Stones was brought to Europe. Some say it is the “Stone of Ezel”; the stone described in the Hebrew Bible as the stone young David hid behind to escape from King Saul. Others say it was the stone Moses struck with his staff in the middle of the dessert to cause water to gush forth so the Israelites could quench their thirst during their exodus from Egypt.

Whichever theory is correct - we know the stone made its way to Scotland where the Scots called it their 'Stone of Destiny'. Then, in an offer of good will the Stone of Destiny was split in half. Half was sent to King Munster in Ireland. King Munster, ruled Ireland from Blarney Castle. King Munster hated the English so he sent five thousand men to Scotland to help the Scots defeat the English at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. 

Now this is really cool. Have you watched the Mel Gibson movie – Braveheart? Well the 5,000 men King Munster sent to Scotland were sent to reenforce the army of Sir Robert the Bruce - the man who betrayed Braveheart in the movie. Anyway with the help of Munster's men Robert the Bruce was able to defeat the English.

To show his gratitude Robert cut the 'Stone of Destiny' in half and sent half to King Munster. Robert then had the stone placed in the walls of Castle Blarney – and it is there in Ireland we can go kiss the Blarney Stone.

Now, legend has it – those who kiss the Blarney Stone are blessed / endowed / or given the gift of Eloquence. Unfortunately kissing the Blarney Stone is no easy task. First a person must climb up 125 irregularly shaped steps to reach the parapet of the castle wall – which is over 100 feet above the ground. Then, once on the parapet the person must lie on his or her back, then twist their spine and extend their neck so their lips can press against the stone. 

So what exactly is Blarney and why do people want it? The young Irish say Blarney is a form of flattery, however; old timer Irish say it is the art of speaking. Blarney they say is much more then flattery; it is flattery sweetened with humor and flavored with spicy wit. 

For almost three hundred years, millions of people have traveled to Castle Blarney in Ireland just to kiss the Blarney Stone. People - rich and poor, young and old, male and female, famous and not-so-famous all - people who want the gift of blarney so they can live their lives to the fullest. 

Unfortunately, thousands of would be kissers fell to their deaths while trying to kiss the Stone because of it location; so in 1928 iron railings were installed to prevent further tragedies. Trained assistants now sit atop the castle's parapet to help hopeful kissers contort their bodies and get in the proper position to kiss the Blarney Stone.

Every summer over a thousand people a day visit Castle Blarney. They stand in line, make the arduous trek up the narrow stairway, lay down on the stone walkway, contort their bodies, stretch their necks and then pucker up – just to kiss the mysterious blue slab of limestone known as the Blarney Stone. 

Amazingly those who have kissed the Blarney Stone say the trip to Ireland was well worth it; all would gladly go through this ordeal again. Each one swears their lives were incredibly transformed after they received the gift of Blarney. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Drinks For Everyone except the Jerk

A guy pulls up in front of a bar driving a car plastered with VOTE BERNIE stickers all over it.  When we he walks in the bar he can't help but notice a guy a few bar stools down wearing a red Make America Great ball cap and a red T-shirt that boldly states "We Love you President Trump". In addition, the guy has two beers sitting in front of him.

Now you don't have to be an Einstein to know what this Bernie Sanders supporter thinks.  He thinks the guy down the bar is a big conservative.  So as loudly as he can he shouts out - "Bartender Give Drinks to Everyone in the bar except that conservative jerk with the hat sitting at the bar".

The bartender quickly pours out everyone a drink as directed and the conservative guy down the bar turns to the man who ordered the drinks and gives him a great big smile and says "Thank You Very Much Sir".

Now this infuriates the guy who ordered the drinks - so once again he loudly orders "Drinks for Everyone Bartender except that conservative jerk sitting down there". 

Again the drinks does as directed and gives everyone except the conservative guy as a drink.  As before the conservative guy turns to the man who ordered all the drinks and politely says "Thank You Again Sir".

The guy who ordered the two rounds of  drinks is now fuming.  So for a third time he yells "Bartender Drinks for Everyone again except that conservation asshole down the bar". The conservative guy just continues to sip on his beer until all the drinks are served then once again her turns to guy who ordered them - smiles and says very loudly "Thank You Again my Friend".

The guy ordering the drinks quietly motions for the bartender to come over then asks  What the hell is the matter with idiot down there. I have orders three rounds of drinks for everyone in this bar except him and all that silly ass does is smile and thank me.  Is he nuts or something?

 Oh no replied the bartender - He owns this place. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pop Quiz # 4 from Ralph's Rabbit Ranch Quiz

1. When is Twilight?

a) Only in the morning?

b) Only in the evening?

c) It occurs twice a day both in the morning and at night?  

2. Why do Ballet Dancers dance on their toes?

a) because its easier to dance for long periods on your toes then it is on the souls of your feet?

b) because it makes them look taller?

c) because that is the way they were taught to dance ballet?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Pop Quiz # 3 from Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

The last Czar (or as some people like to say 'Tsar') of Russia was Nicolai Romanov. Do to growing unrest and high unemployment he was forced to abdicate his throne on May 15, 1917 which then - as most of us know - ushered in the start of communism revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Soviet Union. 
Nicolai, who was called Nicolai II, began his reign as Czar in 1894.  He was an avid rabbit lover and raised rabbits all his life.  It is said that once he became Czar he had the palace Chef serve rabbit meals twice a week and all main entrees for official Russian state dinners were to include rabbit meat selected from those rabbits which he personally raised. 

1) How long did the Romanov dynasty actually rule over the Russia people - from its start to the end of Czar Nicolai II's abdication in 1917? (approximately?)

a) 100 years?

b) 200 years?

c) 300 years?

2. Which is the most popular Russian in the world?  (ask a bartender if you need help)

a) a White Russian?

b) a Black Russian?

c) a Blind Russian?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ralph's Rabbit Ranch Trivia - Humming Birds

Humming Birds are the only birds in the world that can fly in all directions. They can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, left and right. When they do hover at a blossom they always flap their wings in a figure eight pattern.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Pop Quiz # 2 from Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

1. Malaria is a deadly disease humans get from:

a) Ticks

b) Rabbit

c) Mosquitoes

2.  It is easy for females to get drunk on beer then it is on wine?

True or False?

a) True

b) False

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pop Quiz # 1 from Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

1. The Ulna is a bone in the human body found in ---

a) the Arm?

b) the Leg?

c) the Chest?

2. True or false?

A pubic hair is a wild rabbit?

a) True

b) False

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Who Brought Rabbits to Britain **

Well it has been finally settled - once and for all! Years of division among academics has finally come to an end. We now know who introduced rabbits to Britain.

The majority of historians had long believed it was Normans (the French) who introduced rabbits into Britain; however, a small group of scholars throughout the years had always insisted rabbits were brought to Britain by the Romans. 

Marcus Terrentius Varro (116-27BC) is always cited as the military officer who brought rabbits to the island nation. Marcus wrote in his memoirs that his Legion brought rabbits with them when they invaded Britain. He served his men rabbits on Roman Holidays and all festive occasions as well as on those nights when his Legion was victorious in battle over the Celts.

We can thank a recent archaeological dig in Norfolk England for solving this mystery. The remains of a 2,000-year-old rabbit, the oldest rabbit fossil ever found on the British shores provides scientists with evidential proof that is was the Romans who first introduced the rabbit to northern Europe – not the French. 

Jayne Bown, the manager of the Norfolk Archaeological team said "We can now clearly date, without equivocation that the rabbit in Britain dates back to the first or second century AD from the pottery fragments found beside it. All the pottery fragments, and there were many, are domestic pots which Romans traditionally used for cooking.

The accepted belief now is that: Lagomorphs (the zoological name for Rabbits) actually originated in Central Asia then over time (perhaps hundreds of years) they began to disperse throughout both Asia and Europe. 

Rabbits appeared in India quite early and then they continued their migration into Italy. Once in Italy they were immediately embraced by the Italians who saw them as a prized food - a delicacy; never before seen.

So the next time someone asks you who brought rabbits to Britain you can state with certainty – The Romans Did!!!

** For the purpose of this article – Britain is the official name give to the kingdom of England and the principality of Wales. The capital of England is London and the capital of Wales is Cardiff.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Bugs Bunny Was Not A Rabbit

As a Rabbit Rancher – I think – I am an easy going guy; few things seem to upset me. I always try to take life in stride and enjoy every day I am given.

However, I went to a dinner party this week and a loud mouth jerk started to get my blood to boil. As soon as he found out I was a rabbit rancher he started in with a list of rabbit wise-cracks and jokes – none of which were funny. I, along with the rest of the guests, sat there quietly taking it all in and smiling until he began commenting on the Rabbit and the Turtle race and Bugs Bunny - then I blew my stack. I let him have it – I had to shut him down as he had no idea what he was talking about.

Really, I am amazed at how many people get two simple things wrong. First, there never, ever was a story about a Rabbit and a Turtle race. The fable Aesop wrote was about a race between a Tortoise and the Hare. And second, Bugs Bunny was not a rabbit – and Elmer Fudd was always wrong when he kept referring to Bugs as a Waskly Wabbit.

So let’s set the record straight on these two points once and for all – this way you will be able to sound intelligent in the future.

Aesop was a slave born around 620 BC. Some say he was Ethiopian and brought over to Greece as a child. He was a story teller as most slaves could neither read or write. Aesop is credited with creating more than 600 fables all of which have been recorded. 

All of his fables presumably had a moral or cryptic message conveyed. Most of his fables involved animals and generally depicts them as the fable's heroes. Most people are familiar with two of his fables - the Tortoise and the Hare as well as the Lion (with the silver in his paw) and the Mouse who helped pull it out.

Now for the record there is a huge difference between a Tortoise and a Turtle. 

Yes both are animal’s reptiles and yes both have shells – however Tortoises never, ever go in water whereas Turtles live much of their lives if not all of their lives around water.’ 

Though Hares and Rabbits have a similar appearance they too are very different. Hares are much larger than Rabbits; they have longer hind legs and very longer ears.

Rabbits always keep the same fur coat color year round whereas the fur coat on a Hare changes with the seasons. Rabbits live underground in burrows whereas Hares always live above ground under bushes and shrubs.

Rabbits are born with their eyes open and can see immediately whereas hares are born with their eyes closed and are unable to see for the first week or so. Rabbits are very social creatures – they like to cluster together, eat together and play together. Hares on the other hand are non-social. They tend to live a solitary life. While Rabbits are very docile and tame, Hares are generally feisty and skittish – leading to the term we all know = ‘Harebrained’; as its difficult to predict what a Hare is about to do next.

Finally, and this is very important; if you can conjure up an imagine of Bugs Bunny in your mind – you will know instantly Bugs is a Hare – not a Rabbit.  His long ears and long legs are the give-away

His ears are much longer than most rabbits you will ever see and look how elongated his back legs are – they are so long in fact that Bugs prefers to walk upright rather then hop. It would be anatomically impossible for any rabbit to walk upright.

So the next time someone talks about the Tortoise and the Hare or comments that Bugs Bunny was a nice rabbit ------- be sure to correct them.
Follow @Ralphsranch