"Darn?" I said Tuesday morning.
"What?" Rick asked.
He gave me one of those looks that tells me he is waiting in hopes he can be made to understand.
"If I say it the first thing of the first of the month, it will bring good luck that month," I said.
He nodded but the wanting more information look was still there.
I am not a superstitious person, but I still like the tradition. And I can not find any correlation between my luck and my saying "rabbit rabbit" but I still like to do it...when I remember.
I first heard of it from Joan, the secretary at Prospector Research Services, my first professional job in the 1960s.
Because of Rick, I did some research. The tradition seems to be found mainly in Britain and North America. The first known mention is in 1909 Notes and Queries, a publication from 1849 covering folklore, history, etc. primarily for academics.
There are other theories, such as it being more effective if said in front of a chimney, and there is a link to fertility.
It appeared in fiction in 1922 in Robert Lynd's Solomon in all his Glory and Trixie Beldon's The Mystery of the Emeralds. Although I had loved the series as a child, this publication appeared in 1962 after I had outgrown her.
"Trixie Belden awoke slowly, with the sound of a summer rain beating against her window. She half-opened her eyes, stretched her arms above her head, and then, catching sight of a large sign tied to the foot of her bed, yelled out, `Rabbit! Rabbit!´ She bounced out of bed and ran out of her room and down the hall. `I’ve finally done it!` she cried [...] `Well, ever since I was Bobby’s age I’ve been trying to remember to say Rabbit! Rabbit!’ and make a wish just before going to sleep on the last night of the month. If you say it again in the morning, before you’ve said another word, your wish comes true.` Trixie laughed."NPP reported on the tradition. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=248041250
Rabbits and rabbit feet are considered lucky, but not to the rabbit that sacrificed the foot. In some places in the UK a white rabbit near an ill person was a portent of death.
It was rumored that Franklin Delano Roosevelt followed the tradition. If it was good enough for him, it is good enough to me...If only I can remember Mar. 1.