Concerning the Easter Bunny382
The Easter Bunny had a rough deal. Bunnies were not known to hibernate, nor were they known to store food in little hideaways for later like squirrels. Bunnies hopped around joyously, were stroked and fed by zealous children charged with the responsibility of a new pet. Bunnies get to nibble on lettuce and cabbage, and are named Fluffy or Thumper, and all is usually well, and life is uneventful, which is just how bunnies like it.
But not the Easter Bunny. For some inexplicable reason, he had been charged with the task of delivering and hiding chocolate eggs to all the children of the world, like a hopping Santa, only with no helpers. It wasn’t fair. ‘Why’, he thought, ‘didn’t they get a squirrel for this gig?’ And why indeed? Squirrels hibernate, and thus would be more used to being forced out of life’s contemplation for most of the year. Squirrels also hide nuts everywhere, and have a knack for finding them again much later. Yes, squirrels were more suited to this mammoth task than any rabbit. Perhaps only a rabbit could be trusted.
Of course, we humans made the bunny do it for symbolic reasons of fertility and new life. Had not the Easter Bunny been chosen for this task and forced into the pantheon of Great Figures like the Tooth Fairy and Santa who bring joy to children throughout the year, he would have understood the link between bunnies and fertility. He would have been at it like the rabbit that he was. Alas, his very existence relied upon being contemplated by people, and that only came around for a few weeks in spring, and from the moment he popped into human consciousness, he had to be busy busy busy with his chocolate delivery.
He bounced from garden to garden, day in, day out, trying to find the best spots to hide the eggs. Out of the sun, for they would otherwise melt. Away from the glinting eyes of the kleptomaniac magpies, who would put London rioters to shame with their flagrant taking of what doesn’t belong to them. Bushes were good, sheds better. DEFINITELY no kennels. Much as he relished the thought of revenge for the times his kinfolk had been chased and terrorised by those beasts, he had to keep in mind that his purpose was to bring joy to the children. Not to poison their dogs.
Now it sounds as if the Easter Bunny wasn’t so enamoured with his lifestyle, but it did have its perks. Seeing the joy he brought to all the children, listening to the squeals of delight as they found their precious egg, somehow made it worth it.
And the eggs themselves! He had gone from having to raid egg barns on farms to supply kids with eggs to paint, to taking large orders from some of the best chocolatiers in the land. Amongst those was his personal favourite, Prestat.
Being a rabbit, he had a soft spot for flowers. He would in another life have spent countless hours in the meadows, nibbling on roses, or daisies, or violets. In light of this, Prestat, knowing the burden the bunny had to put up with every year, decided to make things easier on him by introducing a Rose and Violet Creme Easter Egg. Whenever he had to deliver one of these, he was reminded that chocolate brought joy, and so by corollary, did he. In the end, spreading a little happiness around was nothing to be sniffed at. Maybe it wasn’t as bad a deal as he thought.
Anthony Lewis- Binns