Friday, April 22, 2011

Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Grab The Shotgun

Well, it's Easter time and that can only mean one thing, time to get out the recipe for boiling eggs. (No, I'm not kidding) So let's rip open the Paas egg dying kits, that haven't changed in 100 years, pour the vinegar in the cups and share some old and new Easter memories.

While I was attending Little P's preschool Easter party Thursday I started thinking of some Easter memories from the past and thought of one that made me smile. During the Easter season my Grandfather (Papaw) would take the opportunity several times to tease me about the Easter Bunny. Sample exchange:

Papaw: I just saw the Easter Bunny.

Me: Really?

Papaw: Yeah. And I could swear I just saw ol' Ronnie Cooper going for his shotgun.

Me: What!?! No. You are just teasing, right?

Papaw: I don't know, I guess you'll just have to wait and see.

Now I knew in my heart that he was teasing me but, there was always a just enough sincerity in his voice to put the slightest shadow of doubt in my mind. And of course that shadow would become smaller as the years went by and the same "tale" was repeated each year. (I never saw it coming) But, he had one other trick up his sleeve that would almost always cause me to think that the he was telling me the truth though, and it was a doozy.

In my hometown we had a small local grocery store that carried the produce and beef of local farmers and sometimes even fish that fishermen in the area had caught. Papaw always purchased his beef and chicken there. I always thought that the place smelled funny and the building looked super old. Papaw would just smile at that comment and say, "That's how you know what's inside will be good". We would then proceed back to the meat counter to place Papaw's order and it was at that point that he would drop his bombshell. He would point to down inside the refrigerated case and rock my world. Oh wait, did I forget to mention that the market also sold RABBITS seasonally? My young eyes would then look down into this case of doom and see the words Fresh Rabbits. Then to further cement the deal he would then talk to his friend behind the counter and ask, "Did Ronnie bring that rabbit in here?" It was at that point that the grizzled man behind the counter would look me right in the eyes and say that Ronnie had just brought it in. Game over. Well played Papaw, well played.

As we rode home in the car and I sat in stunned silence, Papaw looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and a smile and say, "You know that wasn't really the Easter Bunny, right?" And mustering all of my dignity I had I would said that of course I knew that. Papaw and I played this game for many Easters, and to this day it still makes me smile.

So a couple of years ago, hoping to continue this Easter tradition with my family, I told Big Z that I had seen the Easter Bunny along side the road about to be hit by a car, and with all sincerity Z looks at me and says, "Daddy, that isn't possible." Puzzled by his answer I ask him why not, and with the wisdom of a double digit aged child he says, "Daddy, come on. The Easter Bunny is a magical creature and doesn't live anywhere near here. That bunny you saw must have just looked like the Easter Bunny. I am surprised that you couldn't tell." I once again sat in stunned silence at Easter time. Where is a market that sells rabbits when you need one?

Here is a slide show from Little P's Easter party. For those that don't know, he is the one in the striped blue shirt.

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