Auricular amputations in confectionary rabbits (or, do you eat the chocolate bunny ears first?)

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters   April 21, 2019

Imagine a bright Easter Sunday, back in the mid-1950s. The sun is shining, church bells are ringing, cherry trees abloom, and I and my sister Cathy are decked out in our brand new matching pink Easter outfits. We have been invited out to lunch at the home of our friends, the Moskal family, after Easter Sunday Mass.

We enjoy a delicious lunch of baked ham, deviled eggs, potato salad and – our favourite! – traditional Easter paska, after which the children are dismissed from the table to go and play while our parents finish their coffee. And that’s when things suddenly go sideways. . . 

My little sister Cathy and I in our new Easter outfits

For some reason, while all the other kids are playing elsewhere in the house, I find myself playing alone in the bedroom of Terry, one of the Moskal daughters.

Terry’s goodies from that morning’s Easter Bunny delivery are spread out over her bed. But the masterpiece is a crinkly pastel cellophane nest surrounding at least half a dozen milk chocolate bunnies standing upright in their colourful straw basket.

I really, really want to eat one of those beautiful bunnies.

Each one is so perfect and so glossy. I can almost taste that creamy deliciousness. But even at my young age, I know that if I eat a whole bunny, the resulting empty gap in the tightly packed basket will be immediately noticed, and I’ll get into big trouble.

Anxious to avoid this trouble, I come up with what seems at the time to be a good idea if you’re five years old: I will simply eat the ears off each bunny! 

Of course, the minute Terry returns to her bedroom, she immediately sees the horrifying carnage that has taken place in the basket. She runs wailing to her parents, the culprit (me!) is quickly identified, and sure enough, I DO get into big trouble as I’m perp-walked in disgrace down the driveway for the ride home with my embarrassed parents.

Over the years, at every Easter since that time, repeating the story of my ill-fated bunny-stealing strategy at the Moskals became a hilarious family tradition.

And when I had my own children, they too loved hearing that story each year over our own Easter ham about the long-ago day when their Mummy got into trouble for eating all those bunny ears.

One Easter Sunday after hearing my story yet again, my son Ben (who had clearly spent some time figuring out how to get away with eating chocolate bunny parts that don’t belong to him) piped up:

“Mum! You should have eaten the FEET off each bunny instead!”

Oh, if only I had been that smart! It turns out that my urge to start with the ears, however, is common. We even have a real study led by real doctors and published in a real medical journal that says so.

This delightful seasonal study is all about auricular* amputations of confectionary rabbits. Seriously.

The lead author is Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk at the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery in Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital. She and her team at HFH reported this:

“A statistically significant increase in mention of rabbit auricular amputations occurred during the spring. Mapping techniques showed the annual peak incidence to be near Easter for each year studied.

“Human adults and children appear to be wholly responsible for the reports of rabbit auricular amputations.”


Happy Easter, dear readers! May you enjoy the results of many auricular amputations this weekend!


Q: What is your position on eating the bunny ears first?

*auricular =  related to the ear

See also:

10 thoughts on “Auricular amputations in confectionary rabbits (or, do you eat the chocolate bunny ears first?)

  1. So funny! Who knew this particular amputation procedure was one day going to be written up in medical journals?!?! Thanks for such a charming and light-hearted Easter story, Carolyn…
    PS YES I DO eat the ears first!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, RN – who knew, indeed? BTW, this December, check out the British Medical Journal (BMJ) for its annual Christmas edition that includes more of these light-hearted reports that prove, yes indeed, that docs have a sense of humour… ♥


  2. I thought this was hysterical and it’s nice to know doctors can have a sense of humor! Doesn’t it seem like the cute or terrible things we do in childhood just come back again and again to haunt us throughout the rest of our lives?

    Thanks for sharing this story Carolyn. I’m sure you rolled your eyes many times over the years as this story was recounted in your family!

    We don’t usually have chocolate bunnies at Easter (my must-have favorite is peanut butter eggs), but in our family we joke about the leftover amputated appendages at the bottom of the bag of animal cookies. I think if a child really thought about that, he or she might not like those cookies so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Meghan – maybe we’ll see some future researchers do a study on all those amputated animal cookie appendages…

      And yes over the years, every time my kids hear my bunny ears story, there’s been more eye-rolling and more high hilarity over their Mum’s childhood antics!


  3. Happy Easter! I didn’t have any bunnies this year (probably just as well, although the ears did sound tempting!) Tried the math several times, and the maths didn’t work out–although I liked being 60 again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Carolyn….
    As I looked for my Sunday Morning HeartSister update …. I read the beginning of the title “Auricular Amputation…..” and I thought it must be about removing the Atrial appendage in afib.

    Imagine how surprised I was to find it was about eating Chocolate Bunny ears!

    For those not quite as old as I am …. The right and left “atria” of the heart, were at one time called the right and left “auricle” of the heart.
    Spring Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jill and Happy Easter!

      Eating chocolate bunny ears does sound much more fun than heart surgery, doesn’t it? You’re right, the two atria used to be called “auricles” – they still are in some animals, but in humans the auricle is now the name of a wrinkly little pouch attached to each atria, called the left or right atrial appendage.

      Spring blessings to you, too…


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