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GALLERY: Rabbit's Foot Lucky

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In any case, the rabbit's foot is dried out and preserved, and carried around by gamblers and other people who believe it will bring them luck. Rabbit's feet, either authentic or imitation, are frequently sold by curio shops and vending machines. Often, these rabbit's feet have been dyed various colors, and they are often turned into keychains. Few of these rabbit's feet carry any warranty concerning their provenance, or any evidence that the preparers have made any effort to comply with the rituals required by the original tradition. Some may be confected from fake fur and latex "bones" . President Theodore Roosevelt wrote in his autobiography that he had been given a gold-mounted rabbit's foot by John L. Sullivan, as well as a penholder made by Bob Fitzsimmons out of a horseshoe. A 1905 anecdote also tells that Booker T. Washington and Baron Ladislaus Hengelmuller, the ambassador from Austria, got their overcoats confused when they were both in the White House to speak with President Roosevelt; the ambassador noticed that the coat he had taken was not his when he went to the pockets searching for his gloves, and instead found "the left hind foot of a graveyard rabbit, killed in the dark of the moon. " Other newspaper stories reported the incident, but omitted the detail about the rabbit's foot.

If you’re not Chinese or Japanese, you may not have heard the term “maneki neko” but you may well have seen one; most probably in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant or shop. Maneki neko is a good luck charm in the form of a cat figurine that has one paw raised in what looks like a kind of wave. It’s often nicknamed “the lucky waving cat”. Why would a waving cat be lucky?

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