I’ve been on FridayFlash hiatus for a few weeks due to a variety of excuses, but I’m back for at least this week with a quick Easter story. Hope you enjoy!
THE EASTER HARE
The children woke early and woke their parents, too. Part of having children is rising much earlier than necessary on at least two days out of the year, and this day was Easter.
Barely awake and hastily dressed, the adults were dragged outside by miniature hands on their sleeves. But as soon as they crossed the threshold into the cool, crisp air, an odd crunching sound found their ears. The children stopped in their tracks, nearly sending their parents tumbling over them. Now alert, they looked out over the yard.
It should have sparkled with foil-wrapped chocolates and candy-colored eggs. That was the deal. It was How Things Worked.
And admittedly, there were in fact eggs. Hundreds of them, perhaps. But these were not Easter eggs. No, they weren’t even hard-boiled, and they certainly weren’t chocolate. The brown and white shells, some in tact and others not, littered the yard. Egg yolk colored the tree leaves, and the viscous white dripped from the branches. And even though the air was cool, the sun was beginning to warm the surfaces, and a putrid smell was just barely beginning to rise from the yard. Tears filled the children’s eyes, and thoughts of teenage hooligans rampaged in their parents’ minds.
Before anyone could take action, though, a flash of white sped through the yard.
“Hey!” cried the little girl.
The flash became a fluffy, white rabbit, and it looked at her with sad eyes. “I’m too late,” he muttered.
“What happened?” asked the girl’s brother. Though he was not quite two years older, he put a protective arm around his little sister.
The rabbit grimaced, and then he scowled. “My idiot half brother,” he spat. “That’s what happened.”
“You have a brother?” the children’s mother asked.
“I’m a rabbit. Of course I have a brother. Six hundred and seventy-three, to be exact, and another twelve-hundred and eight half-brothers. And don’t even get me started on my sisters.”
“Are they all Easter bunnies?” the father asked.
The rabbit rolled his eyes. “Of course not.”
“Oh,” the father said, simply. “Then, which one did this?”
Fury flashed in the rabbit’s eyes as he spoke: “The March Hare.”
“The March Hare?” asked the mother, incredulous.
“Yes, The March Hare, and thank heavens there’s only one of him!” The rabbit approached the family now, and they huddled a little closer together. This was not the Easter Bunny the television specials and Hallmark cards had told them about. The rabbit put out his paws, as if expecting payment for something. But then, with a pop, two baskets, filled with the most beautifully painted eggs and decadent-looking chocolates the family had ever seen, appeared out of thin air. “Take these,” he said. “Sorry about the hunt.”
The rabbit turned around and surveyed the yard. His ears went straight up and then bent forward at a right angle, sending a beam of light over the yard. In an instant, the errant eggs were gone, and thankfully so was the smell. The rabbit screwed up his arms, prepared to dash away, but the little girl ran forward. Surprised, the rabbit stared at the little girl, and, surprised at herself, the little girl stared back at the rabbit. Finally, she threw her arms around his neck.
“Happy Easter,” she said. “And thanks.”
She let go and went back to join her family. The rabbit very nearly smiled. “You’re welcome. And Happy Easter to you, too.” And then, with a last curt nod in their direction, he was gone.
The children looked at each other, and their parents did the same, and then the boy — so wise beyond his years, as children often are before they grow up — voiced what they all were thinking: “This is the best Easter ever!”
© 2010 Elizabeth Ditty