They Shoot Rabbits, Don’t They?

easter, eggs, bunny, kids, yard, spring, pajamasEaster Sunday is rapidly approaching and the herd of rabbits in the warren behind our home is working feverishly by painting hard-boiled eggs, marshmallow stuffs, and posing for chocolate molds. They are like elves in every way but trade union, and so their story is seldom told. Organized voices tend to rise the loudest.

Today is Good Friday, which means something to lots of people, but I’m not one of them. I’m sure it is very important, but I don’t play favorites with Fridays. They are all pretty good. To the rabbits it means the clock is ticking.

The boys are fans of Easter. They love hunting eggs, finding baskets full of fluff, and eating more jellybeans than most dentists would advise. They have been watching the rabbits closely.

Then, due to a series of mundane yet unavoidable events, word came that Easter was to be canceled. The rabbits on the hill became slow and thick with lazy. The boys were just the opposite.

“Why can’t we have Easter?” they asked.

easter, sunday, spring, eggs, hunt, kids, boys, pajamas, outside, yard

It boils down to timing and theology. The boys are leaving Saturday night to spend spring break with their grandparents. This is a necessity, as the law frowns on leaving small children home alone for countless hours each day. Their grandparents do not observe Easter, or any holiday for that matter, and while it makes Christmas shopping all the easier, it tends to crush the spirit of little boys with hopes of fun and candy.

“I’ll tell you what,” I said. “I’ll go out and talk to the rabbits. Maybe they can get word to the Easter Bunny and we’ll celebrate on a different date.”

And so it was that I walked up a hill with a boy on either hand and a dozen carrots between us. We saw rabbits, but our presence meant their break was over, and they rushed away accordingly. It was suggested that we leave a note, but as we had neither pen nor paper we settled on an email. We sat in the long grass and composed our message into my iPhone, requested a postponement, and hit send. Then we left the carrots in a pile and headed back for home.

I have no idea who that email was sent to.

“What if something happens to the rabbits?” asked the oldest. “There are coyotes and hunters.”

“It’s not rabbit season,” I replied. I based this loosely on the teachings of Bugs Bunny.

“Why would anyone shoot the Easter Bunny?” followed the youngest.  Then he added, “Do rabbits hop when they run?”

My mind spiraled in tangents and Updike.

“They’re talking about pictures,” I finally said. “When you take a picture of something you shoot it.”

“Can we shoot the bunnies?” they asked.

We walked around until the wind blew cold, our camera at the ready, but we never saw another rabbit. The boys seemed content with our plan to change the date of Easter, and I considered the financial benefits that shopping after the holiday would allow.

I took their hands and we walked down the hill again. There were a couple of squirrels in the distance.

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