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The Easter Bunny
Bunny-head-onThis is a tale about the Easter Bunny. Not just any Easter Bunny, mind you, but my very own, personal, Easter Bunny. Everybody should have their own Easter Bunny, if only for a little while.

One of the nice things about winter in cooler climes is that you don't have to mow your lawn. The cold, the snow and the frost put the grass in a state of suspended animation. all winter you have the view of your final efforts at yard maintenance. But winter sloth dies annually and every year the world warms again. The daffodils and forsythia chase the snow away and are soon followed by other flowers. Before long the grass is ankle height. Once again it is time to open the garden shed, dust off the tools and implements that have been patiently awaiting renewal and mow the yard.

Another-Baby-Bunny-pictureOne year I was able to forestall the inaugural mowing until April and on a fine, spring day-which happened to be Easter Sunday-I fired up the lawn mower and began making passes across the expanse of ground I referred to as my lawn. As I was mowing I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye.

Hop, Hop, it was a little bunny.

Easter-BunnyA rabbit's first reaction at a sign of danger is to freeze. "Shhhh, maybe they didn't see me. I'll just stay here motionless and pretend I am a bush." Often that works. Sometimes it works for the predator as well, that might explain why rabbits are such prolific breeders. If the "I'm a bush" technique doesn't work, the next thing the rabbit will do is to bolt. "Flee, Fly, Scram, skedaddle! Hightail it to the hills or the closest briar patch! Quick quick you can never run too fast." That is the call of the of the fleeing rabbit as they bolt for cover. If someone is in close pursuit they can make astonishingly quick turns to the left or right leaving their pursuers stumbling to turn and catch up.

In baby bunnies the bolt reaction is slower to take effect as if they have to think about what to do next. In a beat and a half I had bent down and scooped the baby bunny into the palm of my hand. I had captured the Easter Bunny! It wasn't a hostile takeover and the bunny recognized that. It looked up at me and I rubbed it behind it's ears. We spent a few minutes getting acquainted. I looked around, there was still a bit more of the lawn to mow so I popped the bunny into my shirt pocket and completed my chore.

Another-cute-bunny-pictureThe Bunny was a great explorer so I started calling it Magellan. During the day Magellan would hop about the house exploring the corners and getting used to my company. I would leave treats for him around, bits of romaine lettuce and alfalfa nibbles. The bunny seemed to have a great fondness for the romaine. Every now and then the bunny would come up to me while I was writing and crawl on my foot. I picked it rubbed it's tiny ears. After a few days it would relax while I turned it on it's back and rubbed it's tummy.

Magellan and I were getting along great. I learned he preferred to have the left ear rubbed longer than the right, hw always ate more of the romaine leaf that was left in the north-west corner of the kitchen and he would rather sleep on a t-shirt than a sock. Such curious preferences this bunny had!

BunanaOne day the weather was absolutely beautiful. Warm and delightful. I opened up the windows and doors of the house to let the sweet spring air flow through the house. Magellan the explorer found the open back door and decided to explore the great outdoors. My friend the indoor bunny was gone.

Bunny-On-AppleOr was he? The following winter I saw a younger rabbit outside the house at the edge of the woods near the back door where Magellan had made his exit. I began leaving romaine out there. I saw the bunny a few times more that winter and I saw that someone was eating the romaine. Perhaps it was Magellan. Perhaps Magellan the bunny remembered.

The following summer was a good summer for bunnies. There were three or four of them that would turn up in the yard. I saw them enjoying the clover I kept seeded in my lawn. One of the bunnies seemed less afraid than the others. A number of times it allowed me to get within just a few feet to take it's picture. Was this Magellan? Did Magellan the rabbit remember me? Were there cherished memories of delicious ear rubs still floating about in that tiny bunny brain? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps it wasn't Magellan at all, but every time that bunny took his leave of me, he would take a long look and then run off around the house to disappear into the woods by the back door through which Magellan had left.


anothercupoftea photography by Grant Groberg

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