How The Easter Bunny Got His Tale
Copyright 1998 - Linda L. Rigsbee
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Illustrations created by the author in MS Paint program using a regular wheel mouse.
Long, long ago, in a place we now call Israel, there lived a rabbit named Ezekiel Bunny. One dreary spring day, Ezekiel Bunny nibbled on a blade of grass. He felt sad because things were not going well for him.
Ezekiel Bunny poked Flower Plant with his nose. "Flower Plant, why does the sun stay behind the clouds; and why do you hide your blooms from me? What have I done to make you angry?"
Flower Plant stretched its leaves to the sky. "It is a sad day," Flower Plant answered.
"Why so?" asked Ezekiel Bunny.
"Ask Robin Bird," said Flower Plant. "Now go away. I am sleepy and I do not have time for all your questions."
With that, Flower Plant slumped to the ground.
Ezekiel Bunny hopped down the bunny trail to the trees and called up to Robin Bird.
"Robin Bird, why does the sun stay behind the clouds? Why do the flowers hide their blooms from me; and why are the birds silent? What have I done to make you angry?"
Robin Bird cocked her head to the side and watched Ezekiel with a beady black eye.
"It is a sad day," said Robin Bird.
"Why so?" Asked Ezekiel Bunny.
"Go ask Mother Hen," said Robin Bird. "Now, go away. I must fly with my friends today. I do not have time for all your questions."
With that, Robin Bird flew away.
Ezekiel Bunny hopped down the bunny trail to the nest of Mother hen.
"Mother Hen," Ezekiel Bunny asked. "Why does the sun stay behind the clouds? Why do the flowers hide their blooms from me; and why are the birds silent? What have I done to make them angry?"
Mother Hen ruffled her feathers. "It is a sad day," she said.
"Why so?" asked Ezekiel Bunny.
Mother Hen stood and looked at her big white eggs. "My eggs will not hatch."
"Is that why the sun stays behind the clouds? Is that why the flowers hide their blooms, and the birds will not sing for me?"
Mother Hen sighed. "No, silly bunny. The sun does not shine, the flowers do not bloom and the birds are silent because they are all sad. It is a sad day because Jesus is gone."
Ezekiel Bunny stood on his hind legs and looked over the top of the grass. "Where did he go? I have not seen him on the trail for a while."
Mother hen sighed again. "His father called him home."
"Why so?" asked Ezekiel Bunny.
At that moment, Robin Bird flew over them crying excitedly. "He is back! Jesus has come back!
Ezekiel Bunny stood on his hind feet and peered over the top of the grass. Yes! He could see Jesus coming! He leaped high to get a good look. Jesus was walking toward them.
The sun peeked from behind the clouds. The flower plants sent out their blooms. The birds sang as they flew over Jesus.
Finally, Jesus stopped in front of Ezekiel Bunny. "A little bird told me you have been sad."
"Yes, Jesus," said Ezekiel Bunny. "The sun did not shine while you were away. The flowers hid their blooms from me, and the birds would not sing. Even Mother Hen's eggs would not hatch. Why did your father make you go home? Did he know it would cause us to be so sad?
"It was time for me to go home," said Jesus. "I had completed my work here on earth."
Ezekiel Bunny thumped his foot. "But when the sun does not shine, the flowers will not bloom, the birds will not sing and Mother Hen’s eggs will not hatch, it makes me sad!"
Jesus patted Ezekiel Bunny on the head. "You are sad because you think of what the sun and flowers can do for you. You will be happy when you think of what you can do for others."
Jesus leaned over Mother Hen and she lifted her feathers to show her unhatched eggs.
Jesus touched one of the eggs and it burst into many colors. Then it broke open and a yellow chick popped out. One by one, Jesus touched each of the eggs, and soon there were little chicks running everywhere.
Mother hen left the nest of colorful egg shells and took her chicks to the field. There she sang and clucked as she taught them how to scratch for food.
"See?" said Ezekiel Bunny. "You have made Mother Hen happy. If you stay with us, you can make us all happy."
Jesus stood. "Anyone can be happy when the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and everything is the way they want it.
Ezekiel Bunny looked up at Jesus. "Will you stay with us? When you go, the sun will go behind the clouds. The flowers will hide their blooms, and the Robins will be silent"
Jesus smiled. "If you remember me, I will always be with you. When the sun is behind the clouds, remember how warm it was when it was shining. Believe that it will shine again one day. When the birds are silent, remember how peaceful they sounded. They will sing another time. When the flowers hide their blooms, remember how cheerful they looked. Paint those colors for others to see. I cannot make you happy if you will not help."
Jesus needed help? Ezekiel Bunny knew what he could do. He picked some flowers and threw them in the nest with the egg shells. Then he twisted some grass to make a handle.
"I will take some of these colorful egg shells to each home. I will tell them how sad we were when you left. I will tell them how happy we were when you came back. When we look at these colorful eggs, we will remember. When the sun stays behind the clouds and the flowers hide their blooms, we will not be sad. The eggs will remind us of you."
From that day on, Ezekiel Bunny did not have time to be sad. When the sun was shining, he felt its warmth. When the flowers bloomed, he saw their beauty, and when the birds sang, he listened to their songs. He stored all those memories for the dreary days. On those days, he stayed busy painting colorful egg shells. He reminded his friends that even though Jesus was not there now, he would return some day.
Every Easter Sunday, Ezekiel Bunny hopped down the bunny trail, taking baskets full of colorful egg shells to each house. Soon, everyone began calling him the Easter bunny.
That is how the tale of the Easter Bunny began ... or, as the story goes: That is
How The Easter Bunny Got His Tale!
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