All morning I've struggled with the opening of a short story about Harry Houdini's hare, Harriet, who brings a bereaved widow messages from the Great Beyond. So far I've figured out who my protagonist is...it's definitely the messenger working on behalf of the Dearly Deceased.
But I'm going to have to buck history, I'm afraid. The title of this pictured framed art print is "Harry Houdini and His Rabbit Entertain Five Hospitalized Children 1925." It's a photo that my late husband, Ken Wilson, greatly admired and considered buying.
Rabbits and hares share the same kingdom, phylum, class, order and family, but they're from different genera. And hares, who nest above ground, rarely can be domesticated. I'd hoped Houdini pulled hares out of his hat, but this short-eared creature who seems so comfortable with children clearly is a dark-furred bunny, I fear.
Hmmmm. Maybe I can make Harriet a second cousin twice removed and a jealous rival of the bunny in this photo? Hey, it's literary license. I'm sticking to my story. In my Great Beyond Houdini's at home with his heavenly hare!