As I think back to this past Boxing Day, once we had cleared away the last of the wrapping paper and the fridge was bulging with carefully wrapped leftovers – despite having supplied the household with enough food for a month – we ventured to the supermarket.
No, it cannot be! Hot cross buns for sale on Boxing Day?! A beautiful array of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies too! We tried to resist … After all there was still Christmas chocolate to eat. But, the Easter Bunny will always find you … Can’t resist the appeal of Easter chocolate. This reminds me of a strange little story, of a time upon a long ago, when the Easter Bunny found us.
Once we were young, way back when in the 1970s, the errant husband, Hank, and I had officially tied the knot and moved into a leased villa unit in a swanky suburb. We started with nothing, struggling to make a start as a young couple.
One sunny afternoon, Hank arrived home, bringing two large white rabbits. He felt I needed fur friends to love, feed and clean up after. Yes, well, right. The two white rabbits joined our little nuclear family, a menagerie that included two kittens and a flightless black bird.
Fortunately, our unit had a tiny backyard of long grass, ‘bunny nirvana’. Being a happy couple, we intended to buy them a hutch, but it was right on the Easter holiday weekend.
“They’ll be all right,” Hank declared. “What’s the worst thing they can do?”
Yes, well, right. Easter. Good Friday, 5am, pre-dawn.
“What the ****? What on earth’s that noise?” Hank queried, as I awoke, blearily. We could hear many dogs barking. A retort!
“Who’s shooting?” Hank asked.
“Like I know … The rabbits!” I realised.
When the Easter Bunny finds you, hop-hop-hopping along. Whoops. Pulling on our dressing gowns, we stumbled into the gloom before daylight, into a cold, foggy street. We could hear yelling. Yes, you guessed it. There were our two large white rabbits hopping up and down the front lawns of our new neighbours’ places, accompanied by frenzied dogs yapping and barking.
“Who’s shooting?” the middle-aged man next door demanded, grumpily. Another shot resounded. All the neighbours had, by now, emerged from their posh houses, looking both perturbed and nervous.
“I’ll get you, Easter Bunny!” they heard. It was the man who lived two doors along. His front door opened, he appeared, grizzled, grey hair tousled, bloodshot eyes and a rifle in hand.
“What are you doing, Clive?” another of our neighbours (who we soon learned was named Greg).
“Is that the real Easter Bunny, or have I got the DT’s already?”
“They’re our pets!” I hastily added to the chaos of a once quiet suburban street.
“Fair dinkum,” Clive went on. “I heard those bloody dogs, got a hangover, woke up, looked out of my bedroom window. There’s the Easter Bunny staring at me! I shot it and missed. Must be still pissed. The Easter Bunny found me.” Everyone grinned.
“Typical!” said the lady next door. “No wonder your wife left you!”
“Yeah,” agreed Clive. “That’s why I sleep with my gun. In case she ever comes back.”
Luckily, we caught our rabbits, who survived many a long year, in a new hutch, one might add. About 1pm the same day, Clive and Greg knocked on our front door, with beers in hand. “Welcome to our new neighbours!”
“This calls for libation.” Greg announced, many a beer, many a beer … Our rabbits were what you might call an ‘ice-breaker’. When the Easter Bunny comes hop-hop-hopping along. (Well, it was nearly so long, Easter Bunny, so long.) You see, after the rituals of the Christmas festive season, the Easter Bunny appears, and will always find you!