The Easter Bunny (Book Excerpt: Where Green Grass Grows)

Website design By BotEap.comThe bright afternoon sun streamed in through the tall window, and from my place at the kitchen table, I could look up at a patch of blue sky that seemed as smooth and clear as polished glass. Earlier in the afternoon, I had gone out to see Dusty, but, just like the day I first flew my kite, the wind was so cold my eyes filled with tears. Mom had reminded me that in another month there would be many warmer days, so I spent most of the afternoon inside. She had helped Loretta clean upstairs. She had read a book for a while. And now I was working on my Sunday school lesson. As I turned to the next page of the book, my father reached under the sink and pulled out a stack of egg cartons.

Website design By“They want to go with me?” she asked her.

Website design By“Are you leaving right now?” I said, putting down my pencil.

Website design By BotEap.comI usually put off Sunday school homework as long as I can, but since I’d rather not ride my bike, or my pony, in the biting cold wind, now was a good time to work on the lesson I’d been assigned. for tomorrow.

Website design By BotEap.comDad switched the egg cartons to his other arm. “Yeah, we have to go right now if we’re going to get back before it’s time to feed the cows.”

Website design By BotEap.comEvery other week, we bought eggs from a farm several miles away, though it was close enough that the family was considered one of our neighbors. The daughter of the family raised chickens. She also raised ducks, rabbits, and calves. But best of all, she had a horse, a bay gelding named Lucky that she had bought when she was six months old. She had trained him herself.

Website design By BotEap.comI always hoped that when we went to buy eggs I would have the opportunity to pet Lucky. Sure, I had my own pony, but I never wanted to miss out on an opportunity that had anything to do with horses.

Website design By BotEap.comI stood up and closed my Sunday school book.

Website design By“When do you plan to finish that?” my mother yelled from the living room.

Website design By“After dinner?” I said.

Website design By“Promise?”

Website design By“I promise,” I told him. Anyway, I only have a few questions left.

Website design By BotEap.comI went out on the porch, put on my denim coat, zipped it up, and stuffed my beanie into my pocket. If Lucky was in his lane, he’d need the stocking cap.

Website design By“Ready, kid?” Dad asked. He pushed open the door and stepped out onto the porch.

Website design By“Look,” he said, as we walked to the truck, “the grass is starting to turn green.”

Website design By BotEap.comAlthough a few patches of snow remained in the woods, the grass and most of the fields were bare. However, I could hardly believe it when I walked outside and saw the brown color of the grass and fields, instead of the bright white that had been there all winter.

Website design By BotEap.comA short time later we arrived at the neighbor’s house. While the daughter went into the house to get the eggs, Dad and I waited in the yard. The trees on the other side of the road blocked the cold north wind and the sun almost warmed him.

Website design By BotEap.comI’d been looking over at Lucky’s lawn and wondering if we could stay long enough for me to pet him when Dad spoke.

Website design By“Do you want a bunny?” she asked.

Website design By BotEap.comI turned to him. “What?”

Website design By“A rabbit,” Dad answered. “You know, an Easter bunny.”

Website design By BotEap.comHe pointed to a small piece of plywood with black letters painted on it that read “Easter Bunnies for Sale. $1.”

Website design By BotEap.comI hadn’t noticed the poster.

Website design By“An Easter bunny? Could I?”

Website design By“I don’t see why not,” Dad replied.

Website design By BotEap.comA bunny! A real, live rabbit! A couple of the kids at school kept rabbits, and I thought they looked like such nice little animals with their wavy noses and long, floppy ears.

Website design By BotEap.comI happily thought about the idea of ​​my own bunny for five seconds, until I remembered my mother.

Website design By“Dad? If we bring an Easter bunny home, what will mom say?”

Website design By BotEap.comMy mother thought that the dog, the cats, the calves, and my pony were far more pets than any farm needed.

Website design By“It’s just a bunny,” Dad replied. “She won’t get mad. Besides, when we tell her she’s going to eat those cabbage leaves that she always complains about going to waste, she’ll think it’s a good idea.”

Website design By BotEap.comMom liked to let it all go to waste. One of her favorite sayings was ‘waste not, want not’. But when Dad suggests that she could save the cabbage leaves for soup, she says that she didn’t like cabbage in soup because it gave her heartburn.

Website design By BotEap.comThe girl came back with our eggs a few minutes later and Dad told her I wanted an Easter bunny. She took us to a small shed near the barn. Inside were dozens of rabbits. Some were in cages on shelves and others in pens on the ground. One pen had young rabbits. They weren’t tiny babies, but they weren’t as big as the other rabbits. Some were solid black and some were brown and some were black and white and reminded me of Holstein cows.

Website design By BotEap.comAnd then I noticed a little white rabbit sitting in the corner by himself.

Website design By“Do you see any that you like?” Dad asked.

Website design By“The white one,” I answered, pointing.

Website design By BotEap.comThe girl reached down and grabbed the rabbit by the neck. “This is an albino,” she said. “That’s why his eyes are pink.”

Website design By BotEap.comHe handed me the rabbit and placed it in my expectant hands. The young rabbit sat quietly, and when I cradled him against me, he snuggled into the crook of my arm. His fur was the softest he had ever touched, softer even than Dusty’s velvet nose or a kitten’s fluffy fur.

Website design By BotEap.comDad stroked the bunny’s head with two calloused fingers. “You’re a nice boy, aren’t you?”

Website design By“Should I find a box to put it in?” the girl asked.

Website design By“Is this the one you want?” Dad asked.

Website design By“Yes, dad, this is the one I want,” I told him.

Website design By BotEap.comDad pulled his old cracked and faded brown leather wallet out of his shirt pocket, opened it, flipped through the bills, selected one, and handed it to the girl. She put it in her pants pocket.

Website design By“I’ll go get a box,” he said.

Website design By BotEap.comAs the girl headed for the house, I stayed with the rabbit snuggled in my arms. Her eyelids dropped and then snapped shut.

Website design By“Good!” Dad said. “You must like that bunny. He went to sleep.”

Website design By BotEap.comI looked at the rabbit.

Website design By“How do you know that means he likes me?” I said.

Website design By“If I was scared,” Dad said, “I’d be wide awake…”

Website design By***********************

Website design By BotEap.comFrom the book: Where the Green Grass Grows (True Spring and Summer Stories from a Wisconsin Farm) (ISBN-13 978-1-60145-090-6; ISBN 10 1-60145-090-7; 190 pages; $13.95)

Website design By BotEap.comby LeAnn R. Ralph

Website design By©2006: LeAnn R. Ralph

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