Killer rabbits were considered the height of hilarity in thirteenth- to fifteenth-century Europe.
A drollerie, also called a grotesque, was a small decorative image that was placed in the margins of illuminated
manuscripts. Rabbits and hares were featured in this way along with snails and cats and others. Sometimes these images complemented the text, sometimes they were meant as a silly amusement or as a political statement.
What made killer rabbits so hysterical to the medieval mind was that rabbits and hares were often portrayed as symbols of purity and helplessness. They were also often depicted as being hunted and easily scared. The absurdity of seeing a rabbit or a hare dismembering or beheading a human would have induced hysterics. Featuring a particular person as a helpless victim to these cute, furry creatures, would have had some medieval readers rolling on the floor.
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