"R" is for Rabbits
One of the most popular (especially for dids) animals in the world are rabbits.
Even though most of us never really see rabbits in the wild, we can see images of them just about everywhere. They appear in the supermarkets, on signboards, in the department stores, on kids' clothes, in cartoons on TV, on cereal boxes, in schools, in hospitals, at car dealers etc. They have become the major people-friendly animal character of modern pop culture.
The Teddy Bear is a close second, however, as we all know, bears sometimes kill and eat people. People eat rabbits, especially Europeans.
Kindergartens and primary schools keep rabbits(and sometimes chickens) in cage in the schoolyards. Of course, they are treated as "pets". The children take turns caring for animals, feeding them and cleaning their cages. This is part of education, giving the kids a sense of responsibility. This has become a kind of tradition.
So, how did this come to be ? Well, the principal of my daughte's elementary school once explained to me that in the old days, in case of hard times, if there was an emergency and people needed food...well...What do you think ? (V.C)
rabbits in the wild 野生のウサギ
The Teddy Bear is a close second テディベアがそれに並ぶが
in the schoolyards 校庭に
take turns caring for 〜 順番に〜の世話をする