Traditionally, Easter is a holiday associated with dressing up in new suits and dresses and attending a special Easter service at church. The Easter service is often followed by a buffet style meal and an Easter egg hunt for the children. Others enjoy a quite dinner at home with family and friends and perhaps their own Eater egg hunt. Some go out to a fancy restaurant and enjoy a break from their everyday routine. Children enjoy finding their Easter baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, jelly bean eggs, and surprises. Sometimes those surprises include the gift of a real life pet bunny.
Today, I was in a pet store and upon seeing the small bunnies they were selling, I was reminded of one of my favorite Easter memories. As a child we lived in the country and my parents had given us pet bunny rabbits several months prior to Easter. My dad built a very nice cage and I thought I was big when I got to help him build it. My sister and I had very original names for the two bunnies or so we thought. One was black with just one small spot of white on one foot and a white tail, so he was named; you guessed it, Peter Cotton Tail. My sister noticed on the ride home from where my parents purchased the rabbits that hers kept thumping its back foot and so, the female bunny was named Thumper.
Over the next several months, it is a wonder that those poor bunnies survived all the affection we displayed upon them. The first thing we did every morning was rush down to see the bunnies. We were always taking our mom’s lettuce and carrots to give to them. One day we noticed that Thumper had a problem. Her ear was flopping to one side and she could not hold it up like before. We watched her for a few days and she became worse. She did not want to eat or drink water. My sister was afraid that the bunny was going to die and begged mom to take it to the vet. At first, my mother refused and told my sister that if it died she would get her another one. My sister cried and screamed, “I don’t want another bunny. I want Thumper.” Mom gave in and spent $50.00 taking a $2.00 bunny to the vet. Needless to say, Thumper recovered.
A little more time went by and we noticed that one afternoon, Thumper was pulling the hair out of her belly. Peter was hoping around anxiously. We ran and told our dad that something was wrong with the rabbits and made him go take a look at them. He laughed and told us they were fine. It seemed Thumper and Peter were about to become parents. My dad separated Peter and Thumper as we watched very impatiently to see baby bunnies. By bed time, no babies had arrived so we were forced to go to bed. The next morning, we hurried down to check on Thumper with my dad. He carefully lifted up Thumper and shined a flashlight into her nesting box to discover seven baby bunnies.
The bunnies grew quickly despite all our attempts to smoother them with not always gently affection. They seemed to be doing well and we were really enjoying playing with them. We wanted to keep all of them, but our parents informed us that we could keep only one baby bunny and we had to sell the rest of them. With that in mind, we told our friends that we planned on selling them on the upcoming Easter Sunday.
That Sunday finally arrived. After church and an egg hunt, we changed into play clothes and made a circular pen for the bunnies in our front yard. We made a sign saying, Easter bunnies for sale and waited for our first customer. The neighborhood children quickly purchased five of them. Several hours passed and just when we were about to give up on someone buying the last baby, a car passed by. We watched as it turned around and pulled in the driveway. A young couple with a little girl who was about six years old came up to us and wanted to purchase the remaining bunny. I will never forget the little girl’s question. She wanted to know where the eggs were. My sister and I looked at each other and said, “What eggs?” The little girl replied, “Easter bunnies are supposed to bring eggs.” It was such a cute thing to say. My sister ran inside and came back out with some chocolate eggs giving them to the little girl saying, “Your bunny is tired because he left all these eggs earlier.” The little girl’s parents smiled and whispered, “Thank you so much.”
There have been many other wonderful memories of Easter over the years that stuck in my mind, but, the girl and the bunny was my all time favorite. Easter should be a special day spent with family and friends. With that said, I sincerely hope that everyone who reads this takes the time to make some special family Easter memories of their own.