“This is stupid,” the infamous rabbit moaned and popped his head out of the magical burrow which enables him to travel around the globe. “I am,” he drew a breath, “so sick of this.” He hopped out and tossed a few brightly colored eggs into the bushes, some of which fell into the mulch and rolled out into plain sight.
“Looks like the Tackleton’s egg hunt is gonna last a whole thirty-five seconds this year.”
“Whatever,” he sighed and pulled his satchel strap a bit tighter. Lacking any enthusiasm for his duties, he bounded through a gap in the neighboring fence, nearly colliding with an awakening sprinkler head in the flower bed on the other side.
Squinting, he traced a zig-zag through the yard to the porch, dodging the heaviest of the tat-tat-tats accosting him with what smelled like stagnant pond water and soaking his bright pink pants, making them transparent enough to see the drenched fur beneath.
“This is stupid,” he said again and sat down on the welcome mat near the house’s front door. “It’ll take six months to shed all this pink fur.” He tugged at his pants, “And where the heck did Land’s End get the dye for these pants, anyway? Sherwyn Williams?” He could already feel them starting to shrink.
Checking his list, he noticed that the Adelberg family, the home’s residents, were Jewish.
Ears perched and turning, he listened for dogs, cats, foxes, opossums, hawks, coyotes, small children, and of course, any and all of the many natural predators for the Easter Bunny – and as he scanned the yard for the best course through the sprinklers to the next house, he complained once more, “How did I get roped into this stupid job, again?”
Seeing a clear path, he sped another zig-zag through the grass and griped, “I’ll bet it was some guitar-slinging fundie in a mega-church trying to be hip.” He moved fast. “He probably thought that an Easter Chicken just didn’t have the marketing flare for spreading his already watered-down message of a risen Savior…” A little out of breath, he stooped behind a tree to avoid a passing car, “He and his ‘worship committee’ probably suggested an egg-chucking rabbit to the senior pastor, instead. Makes complete sense.”
Once the taillights were out of sight, he leaned forward to dash for the next house, but even as his bemoaning thoughts began another crescendo, it was then that a sudden calm took hold and put him into a strange stillness.
“Ya know,” he said standing up on his hind legs and tapping his paw against the tree. He turned around and looked at the front porch, “Who cares if they’re Jewish?” He could see his dry spot on the porch through the mist. “I mean, it hardly makes any sense for the Christians to be doing this stuff…and since it’s really not that big a deal…why not share the fun with others?”
He darted back through the monsoon-like downpour and up the porch steps. Doing a full body shake to get as dry as he could, he tossed his satchel onto the “Welcome” mat. He could feel his pants getting tighter.
It wasn’t long before every last one of the colorful eggs in his satchel was in place to decorate the entirety of the wrap-around porch.
And so, woefully tired of his job as the Easter Bunny, and yet feeling rather prideful and free that he’d finally decided to give it up, he dashed back through the fence and across the Tackleton yard, stopping at the trash can near the garage to rid himself of his pants and satchel. He made a dash back toward his magical burrow, dove straight in, and was toted in a blurry flash to an underground workshop full of spring chicks painting chocolate eggs.
“Y’all better get outta here,” he shouted into the cavernous den, drawing the swift attention of all. “It’s been a very long night,” He started, “and I want all of you to know that I just quit as the Easter Bunny, I’m not wearing any pants, and I’m feeling like I could use some fried chicken right about now. Any volunteers?”
The silence before the fluttering scatter was brief.
With the fading of the feathery scuffle and clicking sound of chicks scurrying down a rocky tunnel, the rabbit formerly known as the Easter Bunny snatched his favorite rock glass and an unopened bottle of The Glenlivet Founder’s Edition which Santa had gifted to him only a few months prior.
“Tonight’s the night to see if this kills me,” he said with a slightly crooked smile.
He said it this way because Santa was renowned for re-gifting, and when it comes to Scotch, the jolly ol’ northern elf usually only gave it away if it was an edition he didn’t prefer.
The cork’s pop resonated through the rabbit’s sanctum, and it wasn’t long before the aroma of fresh fruit was equally resonant.
“Smells like sugar-glazed fruitcake,” he said sniffing the bottle. He poured a little and twitched his nose in another sniff above the dram’s rim, “And I think this cake has some surprises.”
He took a sip. One ear went up, but the other dropped out and over the glass as if he was listening for the whisky to make an announcement.
“There are a few cherries in the cake,” he noted, “if it is really a cake at all.” Now both ears were hovering above the glass. “This is starting to taste a little more like warmed cherry fritters with apple cream frosting.”
He took another sip, swallowed, and concentrated on the finish.
“I guess I’d say it’s a medium swig,” he said turning the crystal glass and catching a glimpse of his own reflection. “And there’s a little bit of cinnamon sprinkled in, too.”
He took another sip. It was quiet.
“So, now what?” he mumbled with a little bit of the whisky still in his mouth. Looking down and noticing his luminously pink lower half, he yelled down the tunnel in the direction of the frightened chicks, “Somebody please bring me my trimmers! And some pants!”
There was no answer. He took another sip and reached for the phone.
“I wonder what’s shakin’ in Punxsutawney, tonight.”
He dialed and waited.
“Phil!… Yeah, it’s Bunny…. No… No, I’m not in jail… I’m at home… Yeah, I know… Well, it’s a long story… I said, it’s a long story… Whatcha doin’ right now?… Okay, well cut it out and get over here… Because… Well, let’s just say that I have a lot of useless chickens around here right now and I’m wondering if you’re feeling up to some barbecue wings…”