Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Have Seen the Bunny, and He Is Me

Unusually large and unnaturally bipedal, they are outsized versions of the storybook characters and cartoon creatures of old, most prevalent in the land of parties and Magic Kingdoms. They count chipmunks and tigers, hound dogs and ducks in their numbers, these anthropomorphic animals adored by children everywhere who entertain no doubt of their living, breathing reality.

Every Spring at Eastertime, one of the more heralded members of this fraternity of fake fur ventures outside the confines of play to the gardens of the everyday world. Perhaps you saw one yourself this weekend, his stitched-on smile never fading as he awkwardly stood in a neighbor’s yard, surrounded by awestruck toddlers anxious for their one special moment with this mysterious annual visitor, this giant rabbit, this Easter Bunny.

I have always been a sucker for the Easter Bunny, and for all of his compadres. Donald Duck, Tigger, Goofy and Pooh Bear - for years I bought the illusion completely, gleefully posing for pictures with these charming fellows whenever the opportunity arose, never thinking, not once considering, the poor suffering wretch hiding inside his suit of stifling polyester. And then, it happened.

One lovely Spring, I helped to plan our neighborhood’s first Easter Egg hunt. Being the sort of person who never likes to ask others to do something I am perfectly capable of doing myself, I decided to play the Bunny. How hard could it be? Rent a furry suit and climb inside. Right? Oh, the naivete.

Tickled with my sartorial choice - for I had chosen a Bunny suit that I found quite fetching, complete with a colourful little vest, bright blue bow tie, and requisite cottontail - I had actually begun to look forward to the event. I mean it is not everyday when one is, without question, destined to be the star of the show. So when the big day arrived I happily bounced out of bed in anticipation.
My confidence began to ebb ever so slightly when I slipped on my rabbit feet. As large as cross country skis, I could see that these newly acquired appendages would make getting around unaided almost impossible. But a touch of real gloom descended when I pulled on my gargantuan rabbit head. Ostensibly, these costumes are meant to fit everyone, but it was quite clear that no one of my exact proportions had been considered during the creation of this particular cranium. If I was ever going to suffer from claustrophobia, this was going to be the day.
Barely able to breath, I could see out the darkly screened eye holes only when I stood as ramrod straight as a palace guard, and achieving this particular posture made my chin jut out at a rather irritating angle. It was at this exact point that I noticed the overwhelming sweet scent of fabric softener, which made me consider for the first time how many other human heads had been stuffed inside this rabbit skull before my own. And as I am a person who would never dream of renting a pair of bowling shoes because I find the thought of wearing “public” footwear more that a little distasteful, well..... imagining all those previous tenants of my big rabbit head began to make me feel just a wee bit woozy.
But, in for a penny , in for a pound, and public was waiting, so off to the car I went. I could tell by the none too subtle way The Songwriter was doubled over in laughter that this was destined to be an afternoon I would remember for a long, long while.

I lumbered into the grassy garden filled to bursting with children of all shapes and sizes and I must say that that I played my part to perfection all afternoon. Never saying a word, I shook my basket full of eggs, I hugged giggling toddlers, I bounced babies on my knee, all the while being gazed up at by these happy, shining faces with total adoration. Funnily, it took me hours before I stopped smiling when a camera was pointed my way and now whenever I think of myself grinning like a cat inside my giant rabbit head, I have to laugh. Once I figured it out, the freedom of actually sticking out my tongue or making a monkey face whenever someone said “smile”, was quite delicious.

It was an experience everyone should have at least once in their lifetime, although I am glad to say that other neighbors have been enlisted for this Easter duty in recent years. But as we gain empathy through experience, I am now unfailingly kind to those Disney ducks and Pooh Bears whenever I happen to be in their presence.
For I know that inside that festive attire there lurks a silent sufferer; a hot, nearly blind soul, standing tall, and balancing on feet that are way too big to count for much.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


  1. I was once a "Litter Bug" in green costume, roller skates, antennae. Odd job.

    Little Rabbit Foofoo,
    Hoppin' through the forest
    Pickin' up the field mice
    And bobbin' 'em on the head.

  2. oh Pamela, this made me laugh so hard! I have had to wear plenty of costumes, but this would certainly take the cake! hope you had a wonderful Easter...

  3. What a delightful way to spend time on Easter!

  4. I can't stop smiling thinking of you staggering around in your costume with those huge feet. Well done for sticking with it though. I hope you've had a great Easter.

  5. What a great story -- I loved it!

  6. It's evident from the pics, the kiddos absolutely loved you! Cute memory!

    Hope your Easter was a nice one!

  7. OMG Pamela - this was wonderful!! What an amazing thing you did!!! I looove it. Aren't leg hugs great!
    Hope you had a wonderful Easter, Lucy Lu(my border collie) would like me to tell Edward, she hopes he recieved treats too!! Sarah

  8. What a very sweet story and pictures too! Hope your Easter was wonderful...

  9. Well done Pamela! What a wonderful thing to do. My husband did this once, and not being able to see too well out of the eye-holes he was "bopping" the children on the head and face with Easter eggs, until his kind helper(not me, I was too far away)decided to take each egg from the his Easter basket at the school assembly, and give to the child.He couldn't wait to plod away and take his head off after six classes!!No wonder The Songwriter was laughing - I was, fit to burst!!

  10. You deserve an MBE from the Queen...Member of the Bunny Empire.
    My son, aged 16, had a weekend job at a local theme park dressing up as a furry turtle in searing heat, surrounded by obnoxious inner city kids let loose for the day. There should have been a cooling fan in the head but there were no batteries....

  11. Ooh yes...absolutely. I have a similar theory that everyone should experience at least one week of working in a shop, preferably a supermarket - then they wouldnt' be so ready to criticise and carp about people who are doing a very hard and often exhausting job. Though, as someone who did that once, I would rather stack shelves than wear a human sized bunny outfit, so you have my respect there!

  12. My guess is you enjoy this as much as those sweet children do! What a wonderful way to welcome spring and a special day.

  13. never cease to amaze me! How did Edward react to you?
    The pictures are wonderful!

  14. Pamela, this had me in stitches! I am not one to like to wear bowling shoes either!! Oh I can imagine your thoughts of being in the costume. The great thing is you wore the costume and gave wonderful memories to be remembered by all. Enjoy! xoxo

  15. Awesome!
    I once was jealous when another friend got to play the bunny.
    Now I'm not anymore.

    I bet you were a perfect bunny!
    Hugs to you!

  16. I laughed wholeheartedly! Seeing the Easter bunny and BEing the Easter bunny....quite a contrast!
    Terrific story, Pamela.

  17. I can't help but think that your bunny looks a lot like Edward, or is it my imagination?

    Well done for being so public spirited.

  18. I wish the easter bunny would come a walking round here one easter - I love that one.

  19. Great post - very entertaining and well-written! Have a terrific week!

  20. Hee. Cute post. Good job, Noble Bunny!! What did Edward think of the get up?

  21. Hilarious! You feel so loved that day too, what with all the attention, hugs, autographs etc.

  22. Pamela

    What a great sport you are! I loved your adventure!

  23. What a great thing to do - looks like a wonderful day:) Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments on my blog this weekend:)

  24. HI
    Thanks for the comment on my blog, very sweet of you. I will be watching yours from now on.
    With best wishes

  25. Hello P&E,

    Well, Hooray for you! And such a fetching costume too. The wonder on tiny faces must be ample reward?!

  26. This was GREAT..and what a beautiful happy colorful picture..You must of had a wonderful Easter.What happened when you came home...was the songwrite happy to see the easter-Bunny;)

  27. What a fun post and so descriptive. I'm like that would be so fun and then I was claustrophobic as you described it all.

    Great post.

    Love Renee xoxo

  28. Well done Pamela I'm sure you made a lot of little people's day. It's the stuff memories are made of- for you too.

    I think my hubby would've laughed too. I'm not the daintiest of creatures..ok I'm downright clumsy and he would've bent double watching me stagger around and then try to work out why the door wouldn't open due to enormous feet in the way.

    Well done for giving it a go.

  29. oo forgot to say that Bluebell Garden Bunny is on a background of the golden leaved form of philadelphus. I love the flower smell in May June time.

  30. Pamela you make an adorable Easter bunny! I'm sure the laughter and glee of those children made up for the uncomfortable few hours wearing that head!

    Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

  31. Zhoen's verse is a riot. My daughter used to repeat that one all the time.

    Lookes like all of those beautiful children loved their furry friend!

  32. that backdrop with all the flowers is amazing--very Easter like. You definitely live somewhere more lush than here!

    What's funny with this story is we can relate so well. My two oldest kids both were the mall's Easter bunny this last week when they're shifts came up. for them they didn't have to do anything but sit there so an easy 10 bucks per hour.

  33. Great post and I salute you. I couldn't do it and I have to admit to being quite terrified of people dressed up in those giant animal costumes. It's the only time in my life when I'm openly rude to someone. I usually run away, very fast!!!

    Kim x

  34. Hee, you made me grin ear to ear with your delightful story!

    Happy Hoppin!


  35. Adorable photos! And yes, those feet were huge! I have to show the photo to Isabelle tomorrow. She'll love it!


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