Saturday, April 7, 2007

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

Of the “Big Three” mythical childhood visitors – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy – I’m not sure I ever really bought into the rabbit.

Even at the tender age of five or six, I think I recognized the contradiction of a bunny somehow magically laying colored eggs in a basket.

At my house – inasmuch as I was raised during the Leave-It-To-Beaver 1950’s with the rest of the Baby Boomers – the Easter Bunny actually went beyond the colored eggs to include a variety of candy products which would be readily available at the local A&P… but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure how a rabbit would get his paws on it.

Occasionally, the basket would also have other items: Play-dough, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head… once even a box full of Tinker Toys.

I was delighted with the haul of toys and candy-goodies: It was like Christmas and Halloween rolled into one. But, The Cottontail still didn’t add up in my five year old noggin. I don’t think I bought it for a moment.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “How about St. Nick and the Tooth Twink? Did they make any more sense?”Actually, they worked fine for me.

Santa? Well, it’s Christmas, and the whole world is abuzz for a couple of weeks with the Spirit of the Season. With that kind of build-up, anything’s possible. Plus, I actually sat on his lap a time or two, and saw him in parades. He was real, and I had seen him.

As far as the parts about sliding up a chimney, flying reindeer, and visiting a billion homes in a few hours, I just never thought about it. As a part of that Baby Boomer generation that would later invent the Sixties, I was already so self-absorbed that all I really cared about was, “I got mine, and I’m not really going to think about how the rest get theirs.” The tooth fairy, on the other hand, was never seen. But like clockwork, it slipped into my room, exchanged a bicuspid for a quarter (or a nickel if I happened to lose my tooth near the end of the month), and vanished unseen. Not a big deal. Whatever it looked like, I’m sure it had pockets full of change. Nothing remarkable about that!

The fact that I never actually SAW the tooth fairy was also meaningless. At the age of five, there were LOTS of creatures which I believed lurked about, waiting to slip into my room: monsters, boogeymans, goblins… and the tooth fairy. Made perfect sense to me.

But not the bunny. Never bought it, not even for a minute. It was Mom and Dad, pulling a fast one, just so they could slip me a basketful of goodies. I was onto them.

And, before I left for college, I told them so! I hope you have a Hippity-Hop-Hop-Happy Easter!

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