I was sitting by the pool early this morning in my pajamas, sipping tea, eating a delicious lavender tuile cookie baked by my sister, and listening to a symphony of desert birdsong, when the Easter Bunny suddenly vaulted over the fence and plopped down beside me.
I gasped and my teacup flew out of my hand, somersaulted onto the glass-topped table, and shattered. Rivulets of English breakfast streamed around shards of broken cup, dripping onto the mini-golf course beneath the patio furniture.
My large visitor — she must have been six feet tall and two hundred pounds — set her yellow vinyl purse on the weathered turf, unfurled her pastel chiffon scarf, and slipped off her satiny pink Minnie Mouse pumps, tossing them into the pool. She leaned back, placed her arms (or were they legs?) behind her furry brown head, and kicked her enormous bunny feet onto the table, somehow avoiding the tea mess.
“I am so done,” she announced. “And I’m sorry about your cup.”
I stared, open-mouthed, as I’d never actually met the Easter Bunny. Of course, I had impersonated her many times when my girls were younger, right down to faking her paw-prints on the lawn with cardboard cutouts and talcum powder.
“Listen, really, I’m sorry about your tea,” she said. “Also, can I have a bite of your cookie? I’m a bit hungry.”
I handed her what was left of my lavender wafer.
Finding my manners, I said, “Um, welcome to my patio. Can I help you?”
The rabbit sighed and shook her head. “I don’t really need help, per se. I was just passing by, saw you sitting so peacefully, and thought, ‘That does seem like a nice place to rest.’”
“Passing by how?” I asked.
“Oh, you know,” she said, waving a paw in the air.
Actually, I didn’t know, but left it alone. I wondered if she could fly or teleport, but settled for asking her name.
She replied, “You can call me EB, most everyone does. My given name is in robbespreken and doesn’t translate well to English. If you don’t like EB, I also answer to Clementine Poppy Magnolia the Sixteenth, a name bestowed on me by a dear child in the Cotswolds many years ago.”
I laughed. “Okay, then, EB it is. It’s very nice to meet you. So, what did you mean when you said you were ‘so done?’” I sat back and nibbled another cookie I’d had nestled on my lap, hoping my family wouldn’t wake and catch me talking to the Easter Bunny. I wanted her to myself.
She remained silent, black eyes gleaming, whiskers twitching. Then she leaned forward conspiratorially. “Can I tell you a secret?”
I nodded. “Sure, but isn’t everything about you, um, a secret?”
She waved her paw again. “Yeah, sure, but I don’t mean the part where I’m an open secret, like Santa, who frankly isn’t as jovial as he seems. He’s kind of a dick, IMHO. I’m talking about the truth.”
“Yes, please,” I replied. “Tell me everything! But should I make more tea first?”
“No, thanks. I’m a coffee gal myself. But I will have another bit of that cookie. So yummy.”
I handed her what was left of the second wafer. She chewed quite daintily for such a big animal.
“Well,” she began, “the most important thing to know is that I’m not a boy. I’m not human anyway, so of course I’m not a boy. But everyone and his brother seems to think the Easter Bunny is male, which is utterly ridiculous. I mean, look at this dress!”
She was wearing a pale green gingham frock with pockets in front and orange buttons in the shape of tiny carrots. It did look feminine, and also like it was from a previous century.
She went on. “Further, do people really think a male rabbit could persuade all those hens to lay all those eggs for Easter? I think not. Those girls work damn hard, and only someone who has birthed hundreds of kits, like me, can convince them to pop out eggs like nobody’s business. Especially knowing they’d have to give them up so children can blow chick babies through tiny holes and then paint the shells.”
Not sure how to react to this, I simply nodded. It was kind of horrifying, though I’d blown my fair share of chicken goo into bowls for post-dying scrambled eggs and quiches.
“By the way, do you have any kits?” she asked.
“I have two daughters,” I answered.
She looked sad. “Only two kits? I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay,” I said. “I didn’t want more than the two.”
“How do you…oh, never mind…I know you humans have your ways.”
“We do,” I said. “I don’t even have a uterus anymore.”
EB blanched, at least I think she did. I couldn’t tell under all the fur. Maybe she was horrified, or maybe she was just jealous. I would be, if I’d had to birth so many litters.
I said, “Really, it’s okay, EB. Humans are not equipped for hundreds of babies; we would go mad. And frankly, I think I’d go mad with more than two!”
“Well, if you say so,” she said. “But getting back to me, even if a male Easter Bunny could get hens to lay eggs in industrial quantities, he certainly couldn’t travel the world delivering basket after basket to children more interested in TikTok than in pagan rituals. He’d get too bored, and tired. Male rabbits may fuck like bunnies, but they fall asleep right after. No stamina! And forget multitasking. While we’re raising the kits, they’re daring each other to break into gardens and cross roads without getting flattened. No way could any male Easter Bunny last all night, much less find his way around the world without asking for directions, which we know they wouldn’t do.”
“I see your point,” I said knowingly, having been in just such situations with directionally challenged mates.
Suddenly, EB reached into her purse and pulled out an iPhone 11. An iPhone 11! I was stuck with a retro 6s. Maybe rabbits were lucky, even with their feet still attached.
EB’s thumbless paws moved quickly across the screen. “Look at this,” she demanded, handing me the phone.
I stared down at a Pinterest page full of Easter Bunnies, all of them undeniably male. One was wearing a bowtie and silly straw bowler, ears poking up through holes in the hat. Another was in a suit jacket but no pants, which was oddly disturbing. They all looked like cartoons, fake with oversized eyes. Not like the beautiful creature in front of me, with her antique dress, long lashes, slightly bucktoothed smile, and silky, nut-colored fur.
I handed the iPhone back, grudgingly. It really was pretty. “Why do you think humans have so often portrayed the Easter Bunny as male?” I asked.
“Simple!” she declared. “It’s the fucking patriarchy! All the mainstream myths are masculine. God, Santa, the Easter Bunny. Only the Tooth Fairy gets to be female, and she has to travel with grimy dollar bills and children’s bloody teeth. Disgusting!”
EB’s voice had grown louder and she was waving her short arms around. I was surprised the dogs hadn’t come out to see what all the fuss was. Lazy beasts, probably still sleeping on my side of the bed.
“It’s a travesty, I agree,” I said, trying to calm her. “If you like, I can help you get the word out that the Easter Bunny is female. I mean, it makes absolute sense to me, and you’d have to be a fool not to believe it.”
“Sure,” she scoffed. “If you believe in the Easter Bunny in the first place.”
And with that, she slumped down in the chair like a sad, deflated balloon.
“Listen,” I said. “I can tell you’re stressed about this. Why don’t you relax and I’ll get us more snacks? My sister made rose and jasmine cookies, too. And I have some carrot juice. Well, it’s carrot-turmeric…”
“Alright,” she sighed. Then she brightened. “Hey, do you have a swimsuit I can borrow?”
I shook my head. “Not one that will fit. But if you want to swim, just take off your dress and hop into the pool. I usually swim naked in the mornings, when there’s no one around to see. It’s chilly but invigorating.”
As I headed into the house, I heard a loud splash behind me and smiled. The Easter Bunny was swimming in my pool! What were the odds?
In the kitchen, I made another cup of tea, placed four cookies on a platter, and poured the turmeric carrot juice into a tall glass. I arranged everything on a wicker tray, added two napkins, and walked back outside.
But EB was no longer in the pool. In fact, she was nowhere to be seen. Her purse and scarf were gone, too. Poof! Vanished into desert air.
I set the tray down and stood next to the pool, hands on hips, wondering if the Easter Bunny had been a figment of my imagination. Was I losing my menopausal mind? Did I need to up my thyroid meds? Too much gin the night before?
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw them. Two pink pumps, floating in the pool like waterlogged bird carcasses, drifting toward the filter along with some orphaned palm fronds.
One by one, I fished the shoes out with the long net and laid them gently on the turf. Ha! Solid proof of the Easter Bunny’s existence.
I sat down and sipped my tea. Ate a cookie, and then another, until they were all gone. Staring at the shoes, which must have been a size 12, I wondered how on Earth I would go about sharing the gospel of Clementine Poppy Magnolia the Sixteenth.
Because the Easter Bunny wasn’t just real. She was a six-foot, black-eyed, long-eared, foul-mouthed, righteous mama-bear of a rabbit in gingham, carrying a biting critique of Man in her yellow vinyl purse, next to her slick iPhone 11.
Forget the resurrection.
EB was the furry feminist savior we didn’t know we needed.