Auricular amputations of confectionary rabbits

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters  

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 play while our parents finish their coffee. And that’s when things suddenly go sideways. . .    .       .


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 perfectly 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 four 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 by my embarrassed parents down the driveway for the ride home .

Over the years, at every Easter since then, repeating the story of my ill-fated bunny-swiping 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 dinner about that 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.”



This post was originally published here on April 21, 2019.

Happy Easter, dear readers!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥     


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

*auricular =  related to the ear

NOTE FROM CAROLYN:   You can read Chapter 1 of my book, A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease(Johns Hopkins University Press). Ask for this book at your local library or favourite bookshop, or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon  or order it directly from my publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press (use their code HTWN to save 30% off the list price).


See also:

When eating chocolate is the only right thing to do!

Chocolate-covered bacon, and other ways to alter your brain chemistry

Is chocolate good for women’s heart health?

My favourite recipe for heart-healthy chocolate fudge brownies

12 thoughts on “Auricular amputations of confectionary rabbits

  1. Our yearly “Bunny Eating” Laugh a thon Is the retelling of cutting into Grandma’s Bunny Cake. Beautifully made in the shape of a rabbit, covered with white coconut and sitting on a bed of grass. I did the honors of making the first cut. Of course I went for cutting the head off right at the neck ..LOL.
    Little did we know that the cake underneath was red velvet and decapitating the rabbit of blood red cake made everyone scream! After that we laughed so hard we couldn’t stop…but some of that Laughing I’m sure was the Nitrous Oxide sucked out with the Whipped Cream from an aerosol can we were passing around the table🐰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can just picture the gruesome excitement around slicing into the neck of Grandma’s Bunny Cake, Jill! And the whipped cream sharing – even better!

      Happy Easter – take care, stay safe… ♥


  2. A cute story! As a Mom I also bit one ear off my kids’ Chocolate Bunny treat by carefully opening the boxes, peeling back the foil then replacing it back to its original state. Quite a shock to the kids when they were younger but in later years I was forewarned to not do it.

    Not an original idea as the comic strip “Sally Forth” had the obsessed Mother of one daughter who HAD to annually bite that ear off, re-wrap and hide it for the little girl. The comic gag ran for over 30+ years. You can view today’s subject matter with Sally on Comic Kingdom, April 4th 2021.

    Thanks Carolyn and Happy Easter from your Newfie friend South.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello my Newfie friend! This “Sally Forth” comic strip is fantastic! Thanks for sharing that.

      Why had I never heard of this despite decades of telling my childhood story? I’m going to share this with my family right away! And your devious ear-stealing story ranks right up there too. Peeling and carefully replacing the foil was especially devious. . . I can see how that turned into an annual tradition!

      Thanks again, Joan!
      Take care, stay safe . . . ♥


  3. Love this! I don’t really recall eating chocolate bunnies as a child. We didn’t have much money, so I suspect that wasn’t a thing. We did have the best Easter Egg hunts though. Mom and Dad would never mow the yard before Easter, so there were plenty of clumps in which to hide the eggs. All of the neighborhood kids would gather for the hunt. (Living in a rural area, that meant maybe 8 kids.) So much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of a kids’ egg hunt – which is what my own kids enjoyed on Easter Sunday mornings, too. As adults, we participated in a grown-up-assisted egg hunt with family friends, driven by hidden scavenger hunt clues created by our friend Patrick, directing us where to go next in the yard to find more eggs and more clues. Happy Easter!

      Take care and stay safe. . . ♥

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks, this was the best Easter ever! We had some egg-citement about the Easter Bunny’s delivery with my granddaughter Everly Rose this morning at her home, followed by a birthday visit with my son Ben (44 years old today). He’s the new Daddy of 8-day old Baby Zachary, so I got to visit not only my firstborn son, but HIS firstborn son, too. Basically he (Zack, not Ben!) slept in my arms for 2 hours! It was magical… ♥

          Liked by 1 person

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