Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peter Cottontail: Swift, slick, and smart


We have a very clever Easter Bunny.
This year, because of the way the school calendar falls we took our spring break trip early this year. We had to visit the relatives that unfortunately live in a warmer climate, leaving all of the oh-so-lucky residents of Ohio to enjoy their egg hunts through the snow and dirty road slush.
But as I was saying, our Easter Bunny is very clever. Each year when he hops along his little bunny trail, instead of leaving a basket of sweets that mommy ends up eating, he leaves a basket of summer essentials. Specifically, the baskets my children receive are filled with the annual swimming suit and sandals, because the Bunny knows that last year’s suits have more snags than threads and one of the sandals got left by the pond and eaten by the tractor, which doesn’t matter because none of them fit anyway.
See? Smart bunny.
This year, while visiting the relatives the week before his scheduled visit, our brainy Bunny made an early deposit of goodies. Somehow while the kids were all in the kitchen and mommy went to the grocery store, he made his annual stop. The children were absolutely perplexed (as they should be) as to how the Bunny got in without anyone knowing or without anyone seeing. The dog didn’t even bark.
Beyond that, the Easter Bunny left a hand-written note. “Dear children, Thought you could use these a little early this year. Love, Easter Bunny.” The paper was propped up by their baskets and written on white paper with blue crayons in a scribbley sort of bunny scratch, which leads me to the point of this entire story.
Bunnies are clever, but kids are smarter.
At the age of seven and five, my children immediately took the note and with the skill of television detectives decided to analyze it.
“It doesn’t look like mom’s writing,” said one.
“And daddy’s is really messy,” said the other.
Between the two of them they decided to test the handwriting of all of the people in the house that day, going around the kitchen table with the note in one hand and demanding everyone’s signature with the other.
“Papa’s is too slanty. Nana’s is too loopy.”
Not that the handwriting mystery was solved, but it didn’t take long before they moved onto the paper itself which was equally puzzling.
“We don’t have white paper. We only have construction paper here, and the white paper in that pack is really more of a cream color,” said the older one, who has a potential future in something that feels that white and off-white are two very different and important things.
“Not only that, but we only have markers,” chimes in the younger of the two, not to be outdone and who obviously didn’t look in the bedroom closet.
“Well, it couldn’t have been me. I would never have cut the tags off of the stuff just in case they didn’t fit,” I answered, while hand-stitching the sides of my daughter’s suit in which must have been two sizes too big for her.
It was truly an enigma, but one that I’m glad they all subscribe to. There’s just something fantastic about believing that a tiny rabbit who may or may not wear a top hat with holes cut out for his long, floppy ears could actually hop around toting colorful baskets full of happiness for children. The average Eastern Cottontail rabbit weighs in between 2 and 4 pounds, and without opposable thumbs I reckon that the little guy hauling all of those baskets around just completely defies the laws of physics.
Yes, we’ve got a very clever Easter bunny. And Santa had better watch his back this year—he’s got less than nine months to prepare.

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