The Easter Bunny’s Retirement Party
A Fable for Our Times
Once upon a time, there was a festive gathering of the famous and fabulous at a party hosted by the Easter Bunny. The list included Cupid, Santa Claus, the Fairy Godmother, the Great Jehovah, St. Patrick, Punxsutawney Phil, the New Year Baby, the Grim Reaper, the Tooth Fairy, the Three Little Pigs, the Three Blind Mice, the Three Stooges, Goldilocks without the Three Bears, Cinderella, Father Time, Jack-O’-Lantern, Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, Tom Turkey, Tom Thumb, Thumbelina, Mother Nature, Casey at the Bat, the Velveteen Rabbit, Johnny Appleseed, John Bunyan, John Henry, Oh Johnny Be Good, and Don Juan.
Ms. Bunny, a Free Thinker, had invited them because she was weary with the same old/same old celebrations at Easter time and figured that representatives of other holidays, traditions, myths, stories, and songs might be able to invent a new celebration. She, in fact, wanted to retire.
“Something inclusive, but sparkling,” she explained to her guests. “This business of sunrise and flowers and jellybeans and dyed eggs is quite tiresome to me. Not to mention the fact that every Easter, I am the star. I wanna retire! I’m tired of mommies and daddies dragging me out of attics and closets and basements and putting me on display. Toy bunnies and plastic bunnies; doll-baby bunnies and Styrofoam bunnies; pink and green and chartreuse bunnies; big and furry, and fluffy and flouncy bunnies. And candy bunnies: chocolate bunnies (hollow or solid; white or dark; with nuts or without nuts); marshmallow bunnies; and gummi worm bunnies. And bunny cakes and bunny Baskin-Robbins ice cream concoctions. Even bunny lawn displays lit up at night. None of this is cute to me anymore! I wanna retire! I want my star on the sidewalk in Hollywood next to Elizabeth Taylor’s!”
Well, Ms. Bunny’s announcement came as a shock to her guests. Nobody ever had thought to change Easter. Easter had always been Easter. And Ms. Bunny had always been Ms. Bunny. Certainly, she was only joking with them, wasn’t she?
“Ain’t nothin’ funny about it!” she assured them. “My whiskers droop, my tail doesn’t salute, my fur doesn’t respond to dry cleaning the way it used to, my ears don’t flop anymore—they just lie there waiting for a resurrection. I need a change!”
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” chuckled the ever-chuckling chub himself, Santa Claus. “Easter wouldn’t be Easter without you, Ms. Bunny.”
“We agree! We agree! We agree!” squealed the Three Little Pigs in unison.
“You can say that again! And again! And again!” affirmed Punxsutawney Phil, the monarch of Groundhog Day.
“We agree! We agree! We agree!” said the Three Little…you know whats.
But Ms. Bunny would have none of their protest. After all, she was firm in her desire to exterminate any semblance of bunny business in the world. No one could convince her otherwise. No matter how big and luscious a carrot they dangled before her ever-pink-eyed condition. Truly, although Ms. Bunny’s stage name was Easter Bunny, her birth name was Bette Davis Bunny. The old gal was tough.
“Anybody got a shamrock?” said St. Patrick, hoping to bring some luck to this tense situation.
“No, but I got a few extra teeth,” said the Tooth Fairy, smiling.
The New Year Baby began to cry in fear. The Grim Reaper and the Big Bad Wolf began to eye Ms. Bunny with interest.
“I’ll take her place,” announced Cinderella, hoping for further professional advancement. “Oh, I would be such a wonderful Easter symbol. A rags-to-riches story: from the scullery to the palace; from the dark and dank and stink and stank of the drearies and deadlies of winter cometh spring . . . spring . . . spring!”
“Spring . . . spring . . . spring!” joined in the Three Little Pigs.
“But nobody can take Ms. Bunny’s place,” gobbled Tom Turkey, president of the We Love You Ms. Bunny Fan Club.
Just then Jack-O’-Lantern lit up with an idea. “I know. We can make the pumpkin the symbol of Easter. We can carve it into the shape of Ms. Bunny, put some Mexican jumping beans into it so that it’ll hop around, and stick a couple of Q-Tips in its head to make it look like it has ears, and then . . .”
“We like it. We like it. We like it,” shouted, not the Three Little Pigs this time, but the Three Stooges who began bopping each other over the head and twisting each other’s noses, ears, and sundry body parts.
“Nonsense!” roared the Great Jehovah, being ubermacho. “We’ll do it my way or no way.”
“What’s that, Jehovah?” said Mother Nature, disturbed once again by the man’s presumptive control issues.
“Sorry, Mother,” said the Great Jehovah, shrinking to less than deified proportions. “I only meant to offer a suggestion.”
She gave him a stern, motherly look. “Just remember who created you, my son!”
Father Time decided to chime in. “Okay, then, we must hurry about the task set before us by Ms. Bunny. Indeed, the old gal ain’t getting any younger. Nor is anybody else.”
“Indeed,” proclaimed Goldilocks, little girl lost in the woods. “Time is just a circus, always packing up and moving away.”
“What? What? What?” squealed the Three Blind Mice.
Frustrated beyond belief, Ms. Bunny demanded: “Let’s move it, people! Easter’s almost here and we’ve got to come up with something. But what do we do?”
“How about a committee?” Johnny Appleseed suggested, thereby planting the first seed.
“Good idea,” said Johnny Be Good.
“Very good, very good,” said Ms. Bunny. “So who’s going to be in charge? And who’s going to take notes? And who’s going to be the treasurer? The publicity director? The legal counsel? The Deus ex machina? The Prime Mover? The Lord of Lords? The hostess with the mostess? The most eligible bachelor?”
Don Juan raised both his hands upon hearing the availability of the last position. “I’m always available for romance!” he said, with a smile and a wink.
“Just don’t ask us to take notes, Ms. Bunny,” said Tom Thumb, with his distant cousin Thumbelina, nodding her in head in agreement. “We’re all thumbs.”
“Oh, that’s funny,” chortled Casey at the Bat. “You scored a home run with that one.”
Still after a number of awkwardly silent moments without anyone other than Don Juan’s offer, Ms. Bunny suggested they do a group meditation, and hope that the spirit would guide them.
“And if any of you would like to pet me during this time of reflection, please feel free,” begged the Velveteen Rabbit who had gone without touch for almost eleven minutes—far too long a time for this needy, fake-fur ball.
“Whatever,” said Ms. Bunny, adding a shrug of her shoulders and sending it in the direction of her ever-needy distant cousin. Ms. Bunny continued, “Anyhow, realizing that it’s a very brief span between birth to bounce to flounce to… Well, you get my point. We are merely strands of the web. Dangling here and there amidst the other flimsy strands woven into the big flycatcher in the sky. So, let us now seek discernment as we stare at our navels, touch base with our kundalinis, spoon our way down into our psychic essentialities, massage our chakras, and perhaps discover a new thought; a new way of being.”
And with that, the partygoers became as if somnambulant, i.e., dead in their tracks.
Actually, being mano-a-mano and macho-macho men, John Bunyan and John Henry fell asleep instead of plopping into a profound state of meditation. Together, their snores took turns reenacting the Boom Boom Boom of the canons accompanying the “1812 Overture.”
But even these big and burly bruisers had a connection with all the others at the party. For truly, the entire assemblage arrived at a state of deeper awareness, beyond the buffoonery and baboonery of verbal one-upmanship. Closing their eyes and opening their spirits to what was waiting within them to claim, brought forth a new perspective, a new way of being. And so the collective idea arose within each partygoer—a concept nurtured in peace and harmony in the very midst of the creative dance of the cosmos, that resurrection was possible; that the Easter Bunny would not retire or die and move off the drawing board of creative existence; but that she would go on and on forever. Only transformed. Reborn.
And in their state of meditational discernment there appeared a beauteous vision: Ms. Bunny as Ms. Bunny—complete, in the sense that she was timeless, beyond age; both ancient and fur-challenged, as well as young and fully-furred. She was no longer one or the other, but exquisite in her absoluteness: wise crone rabbit; innocent child bunny.
So in such immeasurable awareness of the possible within this symbol of Easter, and with the fullest acknowledgement of what might be possible within themselves as creatures forever being recreated, Ms. Bunny’s party guests discovered life renewed. They discovered their facades had melted away and saw themselves as one, together for time and eternity, in a seamless web of relationship. Beyond name, beyond appearance, and beyond category.
Re-entering the world of the just-apparent-and-most-obvious, they saw that Ms. Bunny had been replenished, too. Once again the transformative power of life had made her young and glossy, bright of eye and bushy of tail—ready to greet yet another Eastertide with joy and wonder. Nevertheless, all those at the party were aware that Ms. Bunny and they, themselves, were more than just their outward appearance. That all possible Ms. Bunnies existed deep inside the one they viewed at that moment; that all possible selves of themselves and the beings of their beings lived deep inside the ones they viewed in the mirror.
So, with this knowledge—this knowledge of knowledge—existed all wisdom and joy. And the birds sang, the flowers bloomed, and the world embraced in dance.
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