April 28, 2011 —
The Easter Bunny’s stump on Cotton Tail Lane was thumping until late in the evening on Easter Sunday. Creatures from every walk of life had come to hang out, eat some candy and pay their respect to Tommy “The Easter Bunny.”
Tommy sat in his favorite chair in the corner and looked around the room. The Young Bunny from across the street was there; she was so cute. He really wanted to talk to her, but didn’t have the energy. His feet ached from all the hopping. As usual, things had gone off without a hitch and it had been a long day of hiding eggs and waiting for children to find them.
The whole thing had become routine. He took a long swig of his carrot juice on the rocks. So far no one had noticed that he hadn’t eaten a single piece of candy (chocolate, gummy or other) all day. He didn’t know how to explain it, but the very thought of it made him nauseous. Last year, he had eaten more than his fair share.
After most of the guests had gone, Tommy was left sitting across from his friends, Trixie and Donald.
“Have you tried Peter’s new candy bar?” Donald asked.
“Oh it’s just the best,” Trixie added.
Donald broke off a piece of the candy bar and passed it to Tommy. Tommy knew that he should just tell them; they were his oldest friends in the world and they would surely understand.
“I’m full,” Tommy deflected as Trixie grabbed the piece.
“Ohh. Yummy! I hadn’t tried the coconut,” she raved.
Donald and Trixie hugged Tommy and they left. As the door shut, he breathed a sigh of relief. Another Easter was over. He stared at himself in the mirror. He had gained weight recently and he was disappointed with how old he looked. Maybe he should just hang it all up.
The next day, bright and early, he left his house on Cotton Tail Lane and went to his doctor.
“Everything checks out fine; a clean ear of health,” his doctor said. “It must be a mental thing.”
“Must be,” said Tommy, defeated.
“Get more rest and ease up on the carrot juice.”
That night (carrot juice on the rocks in hand), he forced himself to try the candy bar that Donald had left. It was the same horrible nightmare all over again. It didn’t taste bad, per se. But he found it left him empty and depressed.
The next day, he went to see his shrink.
“Well, how do you feel about chocolate?”
“I hate everything about it.”
“Has it always been this way?”
It hadn’t and Tommy told his shrink that when he first started the whole Easter Bunny gig he loved chocolate. He remembered bounding around with his father. That was before he made up his mind to actually go into the family business.
“Maybe you should go talk to your dad. I wonder if he’s gone through this sort of thing?”
“Yeah, maybe,” said Tommy. It wasn’t what he wanted to hear. This was a disaster.
That night, he swigged his carrot juice and passed out on the couch watching “When Bunny met Sally.”
The next morning, at his wit’s end, Tommy went to see his dad at his stump in upstate New York.
“Tommy, what a lovely surprise.” his Dad said warmly. “Have a chocolate.”
“Well, Dad, that’s actually why I am here...”
His dad stopped short. A moment of realization crossed his older rabbit face. “Same thing happened to me, son. About your age.” He beckoned Tommy closer, lifted his large ear and whispered a piece of advice into it.
It was good to hang out with his father. Good to know that other Easter bunnies had gone though the same thing and walking home he realized his father was right. He was lonely.
He stopped off to see The Young Bunny who lived on Cotton Tail Lane across the street and asked her out right then and there. She said she “would love to” and they made plans to have dinner with Donald and Trixie at The Hole.
He still didn’t want any chocolate, but his father had gotten to the root of his problem. Tommy vowed, in fact, to start exercising more and stay off the chocolate until next Easter. Santa would be disappointed, but he would understand. He could stand to lose a few pounds himself.