Petey and Carla fell in love the first time they met in the clover patch. It was in early Spring, just as all of the winter browns started greening. Petey’s family nest was in the roots of the old cedar tree. Carla’s was under the edge of the farm’s greenhouse.
As both of them were born in early February, neither had seen green before. They kicked up their heels and chased each other all that sunny afternoon.
Elder Mira and Elder Myna watched the two frolic and smiled. Every Spring two rabbits who fell in love were asked to serve as Easter bunnies for their community. It was an easy choice to pick Petey and Carla. Their responsibility was to watch the farmer’s children as they colored beautiful designs on their Easter eggs, then wait until the humans went to sleep for the night. They had to sneak into the house with baskets and take the eggs and hide them in the yard for the children to seek and find.
This annual event guaranteed the benevolence of the farmer towards the rabbits who lived on the farm. The farmer and his wife knew the rabbits did the gathering and hiding of the eggs and made sure to leave the side door open a crack that night.
When Elder Mira and Elder Myna asked Petey and Carla to be this year’s Easter Bunnies, they leapt high, twirled, and wiggled their noses in joy. The week leading up to the event was spent in learning and practicing what was required. They were quick learners and everything proceeded well.
Easter Eve, the rabbit community watched as Petey and Carla made their way towards the front window of the house with their baskets, their hearts pumping fast, as they’d never been this close to the human nest before. They hopped up on the porch swing and peered through the crack in the curtains that had conveniently left open and watched the young humans laugh as they painted the eggs. They watched as the mother and father carried them off to their sleeping places. Soon all of the lights were out and they headed to the side door. It didn’t take long to gather the eggs in the baskets and head back out to begin hiding the eggs.
The rabbits weren’t the only ones watching tonight. Mame and Dirk Fox were under the wheelbarrow and getting ready to catch two tasty morsels. They might even eat the eggs as appetizers. It was only a matter of time before one of the bunnies came to hide an egg under the wheelbarrow. It was Petey. With a snarl, Dirk pounced. Petey didn’t know he had it in him but he screamed, which threw Dirk off. Petey tossed the basket and ran with his best zig-zags, Dirk snapping empty air again and again. Carla with her quick wits, dropped the basket and ran for the greenhouse. Mame ran as fast as she could to catch her. Carla screamed as Mame got ahold of her back right foot. She jumped and twisted away and did a vertical descent into the hole too small for Mame. Mame dug with diligence, but the edge of the greenhouse made it impossible to reach Carla. Carla was surrounded by her family, who huddled up against the back part of the warren. Carla wondered where Petey was; her ears and nose were on high alert.
Petey ran for the farmhouse and made it through the side door. As tantalizing as a rabbit dinner was for Dirk, he was not going to risk his neck by entering the dwelling of his nemesis, the humans, who loved to hunt his kind down and kill them whenever possible. He ran off to find Mame to see if she’d had any better luck. The two foxes ate their fill of Easter eggs then sauntered off into the night.
As dawn approached, Petey neared the door, smelled the air and found no fox scent. He hopped out and thumped three times, which meant safe and clear. Carla burst out of the greenhouse hole and ran as fast as a bunny can run. She hurled herself into Petey’s arms.
It was a lovely Easter morning. There were two decorated eggs left, which were hidden very well by the two bunnies. The other eggs the human children would find bits and pieces of would rightfully be blamed on the foxes. All was well in Bunny Land.
Sadje is the host of What do you see?