On this Easter Sunday I would like to share a special story I wrote. I hope you enjoy it! Comments are welcome below.
George, The Easter Bunny
Once upon a time, there lived a large family of Easter Bunnies, the youngest was George. He was a very happy bunny and often sang and hummed while he worked. George, like the rest of the family, spent the long winter months in the burrow weaving baskets for the children at Easter.
George was known throughout his family to have a very special talent, and that was mixing the dyes they used to color the Easter eggs in the spring. George collected the colors for the dyes from berries, vegetables, grasses, the earth, the sky, and the sun. George never told anyone how he was able to extract the colors because – well – it was a magic that was bestowed on him by his creator and he really didn’t understand it himself.
Once he had the collected colors, George set about to mix them into every bright color that reminded him of spring. Pastels were his specialty. The pinks popped; the blues were brilliant; the greens were gregarious; the reds blazed, and the purples were richly royal. The colors were so delicate and brilliant that his dyes were well sought after by the other Easter Bunnies.
George loved to mix his colors and paint the eggs with fun designs. He would sit in his burrow for hours, humming songs and happily painting. Each egg he painted, he fell in love with and would think it was the prettiest he had ever painted. But then he would finish the next egg, and on seeing his handiwork; he reassured himself that this egg was the best he’d ever done. Once he had enough finished eggs to fill a basket, he would move on to the next basket. And so it was that George’s Easter Baskets would be ready for the big day.
Each year George was up before dawn on Easter morning. The night before he gathered his beautiful baskets of magical egg and loaded them in a wheelbarrow. It always seemed as though there were way too many baskets to fit into the wheelbarrow, but each year – although the baskets towered way above the rim of the wheelbarrow, and the load would totter as he pushed it along – none ever fell off.
One Easter morning George awakened late. He was frazzled by having to hurry to hide the baskets in all the yards. He pushed along the wheelbarrow and thought for sure he would be discovered by a happy child looking for an Easter Basket. As the tower of Easter Baskets on the wheelbarrow diminished, so did the time before dawn. He began to hurry faster and faster, being less careful where he hid the baskets.
As George slid around some daffodils in my backyard, he ran right into me with his wheelbarrow. From the last basket in his wheelbarrow, a glimmering Easter Egg fell onto the ground at my feet. I was shocked to see a real Easter Bunny, and George was just as shocked to see me!
“Hello,” I said, “Are you a real Easter Bunny?”
He nodded as he rushed to pick up the gleaming Egg that had landed in front of me. He spoke to me and his voice was like a rainbow of colors. “Yes, my name is George. “This is my last basket to hide. Please don’t tell anyone that I was so late.”
I was surprised to see patches of pink appear on his pudgy bunny cheeks. His nose twitched as he held up the gloriously painted egg for me to take. “Ooooh,” was all I could muster when I looked upon the splendid Egg. I examined the egg more closely and saw it had a picture of Easter Bunnies engaged in painting Easter Eggs. Its colors were as bright as the sunshine coming over my shoulders, and I thought for a moment that I could see the paint brushes moving in the picture as the Bunnies worked. “This is beautiful!” I cried as I looked down at him. “Did you paint this?”
He nodded. I could see he was rather embarrassed by my complementing his handiwork. I leaned over and assisted him in taking out the last basket from his wheelbarrow. “I guess this basket is for my son; he won’t be up for some time. He likes to sleep past dawn.”
His cute bunny face smiled at me. “Oh, is your son, Jason?”
“Yes, yes that’s him.”
It was my turn to smile now. I sat down in the grass and began to discourse with George about his family and what he did as an Easter Bunny. For some magical reason, it didn’t seem odd that I was able to communicate with a bunny. I was mesmerized as he told me about his unique ability to gather colors from nature and turn them into the dyes the Bunnies used to color the eggs. “That’s fascinating, George,” I said as I turned the Easter Egg in my hands around and around. “But how do you collect these colors?” I pressed.
George shrugged his bunny shoulders, and his nose twitched again. “I do not know Madam; it is a gift that was bestowed on me as a newborn bunny. It’s magic that I cannot explain.”
I smiled at him. “Well, it’s a rare gift I am sure, just as your ability to paint with such beauty is.”
Again George’s bunny cheeks glowed with pink in embarrassment. “Thank you, Madam.” He said in a very soft voice.
Then a voice floated out on the wind. “Mamma, Mamma where are you! Can I come out and search for my Easter Basket now?”
George hopped up and said, “It’s been lovely talking with you, but I must go!” He hesitated, “Perhaps I will see you next year?”
I nodded. And with a POP, he, and the empty wheelbarrow disappeared.
For many years I would be up before dawn and wait for the Easter Bunny. I would make sure to have a delicious orange carrot for George, as he had told me he especially loved carrots.
As Jason grew older and less interested in looking for an Easter basket, I noticed George began to age and indeed fade from the brilliance I once saw in him. Finally, Jason told me he didn’t want an Easter Basket anymore. He would rather we go out for Easter breakfast after church. I tried to talk him out of it, but he was adamant that Easter baskets were for ‘little kids,’ and at eleven years old he was grown up.
That Easter Day dawned and I waited in the garden for George to come, but he did not. I was sad but left the carrot in the garden anyway. When I came back later, it was gone. Every year since, no matter what – I lay down a carrot in the garden, and when I turn around to go inside, it always disappears with a POP!