Rex looked down into his blue wicker basket. What was there to understand? He wasn’t the type that usually got all worked up and went off half hopped after some bunny opened their big mouth and said something that ruffled his fur, but Trixie had managed to make his blood boil. He ran a paw over his whiskers and flattened his ears back.
“You don’t get it.” She had said.
“It’s meaningless, that’s all. Rabbits leaving eggs. It’s the most ridiculous occupation a rabbit could have. Really sort of demeaning.” He’d answered her in his calm monotone way.
“Ah! I’ve had enough. I can’t listen to this anymore. You don’t know anything. I don’t know why I listen to you. You don’t hear a word that I say. You don’t understand anything! I’m moving out! That’s all there is to it.” Her fur had stood on end, she was so furious, but seeing no reason to stop, he kept going anyway.
“Well, where are you going to go? I’ll forward your marshmallow chicks to you.”
“What the jellybeans is that supposed to mean? Forward my Peeps? I…” she’d shook her little lemon yellow head and trembled all over with furry abandon. “I’m going to stay with Beck. He really understands Easter, unlike someone else I know. How’s that? Ha!” and she had hopped away.
Five minutes had lapsed since her departure. Rex looked into his work basket and felt the white hot rage course through his veins. There was nothing there to understand. It was completely meaningless. An empty ritual that he and Trixie and a gazillion other rabbits built their lives around. He loved the summer and the fall when it was all over with and he could almost forget who he was and pretend to be a regular rabbit. The winter filled him with dread of spring, and spring… well, it was torture.
Some rabbits had to slave away over vats of hot chocolate pouring it into molds made in their own likeness or in the likeness of a chicken or even a cross or a human male nailed to a cross. Others prepared jelly beans and marshmallow confections. Then there was the manufacturing of plastic eggs.
All of it was really hideous as far as Rex was concerned. Completely appalling. Being born into a proud line of Easter Bunnies clearly did not necessarily qualify one to be good at it. Why? He asked himself. Why wasn’t my mother an ordinary jack rabbit? I could have spent the last few years nibbling clover and out running from coyotes instead of palling around with the multicolored egg crowd.
They were all so proud of it. It was like being born into nobility or into a mystical priest hood. Making candy and delivering candy. That was all that it was about. The things that vexed him so were the details hinting that it might be about something more, the particular shapes of the candies, the stories, the date upon which they made their big delivery. None of it added up in a way that made Rex feel that his existence was meaningful. It was mumbo jumbo. Now Trixie was gone too. Oh well, he was fed up with these small warren girls anyway. He needed to get out of town, have a look around, see the world.
“That’s what I should do.” He said to himself. Then he sat the little electric blue basket down. His mother had taught her children that it was an honor to bear the basket, a great privilege. Lots of rabbits carried their baskets around with them throughout the year just to make sure everyone knew that the rabbit they were looking at or speaking to was an Easter Bunny. Common conies admired them so.
“I’ll leave it all behind me.” He said and with that he scampered out of his burrow into the cool moonlit night. After twitching his nose and testing the air he bounded away across the meadow. He stopped when he reached the top of the hill and looked down upon his old home.
For a minute he thought he should run back down and find his supper in the usual place, nibble a dandelion or two and get home before dawn. He let the idea slide away down the hillside with the shadows. His mother, Trixie, and the others would not understand his choice anymore than he understood theirs.
The moon, who had been listening to his thoughts, whispered into his ear, “And that is okay dear. It takes more than one type to make the world go around. I don’t understand my brother the Sun, and he does not understand me. It isn’t important. I do what I will do and he does what he will and you too must do what you will do. We don’t necessarily have to see things eye to eye. In fact, it is necessary that we do not.”
Rex twitched his nose and thanked the moon for her kind wisdom.
“Goodbye.” He whispered to the valley below. Then turned his back on it and ran on into the mysterious night, the moon caressing his back.