One of the little family traditions that we do involves Easter and my little sister.
Every year, Mom mails Boo an Easter basket. These baskets have all the normal trappings of baskets of this kind, save only that the before sending it to Boo, Mom will bring the chocolate bunny to either Chris or myself, so that we may bite the ears off.
When my little sister was younger — I think she was probably seven or eight — Nana asked her if she was looking forward to the Easter Bunny visiting.
Boo replied that the Easter Bunny was all very well, but that she was afraid that since we weren’t “home” — overseas — she wondered if the Easter Squirrel would be able to find us.
Nana figured this was one of those ideas that children get, assured her that the Easter Squirrel was very diligent in that kind of thing and sent Boo off to play.
Well, as the week progressed, Boo got increasingly worried about the Easter Squirrel — until Easter morning.
Early — early, early — that morning, Mom got up to get a drink of water, when she noticed Chris pad down the hall in his pajamas. Slightly curious as to what her junior son was up to that early, Mom followed him to the living room, where she observed Chris — as he had done every year since he could walk — fastidiously, and with a great deal of care, nibbled the ears off of every chocolate bunny within reach before wandering back to bed.
Mom, of course, was mightily concerned about how her other two children would react to this chocolate pilferage, and resolved to awaken early and attempt to find replacement bunnies.
This, however, was rendered unnecessary when Boo woke up the entire house later by dashing into each bedroom, hair flying, mutilated chocolate figure held firmly in both hands, warbling at the top of her lungs, “The Easter Squirrel came! The Easter Squirrel came!” before shoving the afore-mentioned chunk of chocolate under our noses as proof.
You know — a chocolate bunny sans ears does kind of resemble a squirrel, truth be told.
Happy Easter, everyone.