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.”
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This post was originally published here on April 21, 2019.
Happy Easter, dear readers!
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Q: What is your position on eating the bunny ears first?
*auricular = related to the ear
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