Confessions of a Chocolate Bunny Thief
Raised a good little Catholic girl, I loved Easter Sunday. The new church dress, color-coordinated straw hat and coat, white cotton gloves and shiny patent leather shoes were the order of the day. This was 1968 and all ladies, even those with gap-toothed grins and scabby knees from tripping over a jump rope were expected to dress as such. My sisters and I were as colorful as a freshly picked spring bouquet in shades of lipstick pink, sunny yellow and navy blue. Easter colors…the shade of freshly dyed eggs and the pretty candies nestled in the baskets sitting on the kitchen table awaiting our return from mass.
There were marshmallow peeps in bright colors, jelly beans, shiny foil-wrapped chocolates and dime-store toys designed to work off all that sugar. Paddles with rubber balls attached to them by a long elastic tether, rubberized punching balloons that just begged for a fistful of Minute rice so that banging them made a truly ear-assaulting ruckus, hula-hoops, jump ropes and a cuddly stuff bunny were our usual haul for this particular holiday. While all these were wonderful, my favorite was always the chocolate bunny. Posed in profile, it was solid chocolate.
The Chocolate Bunny
Each of us received one, but because they looked identical, my mother would write our names on each one in the hope of avoiding confusion and squabbles. For one full day, her preventative measure worked. After that it became a race to see who could make their bunny last the longest and all hell broke loose.
I always started with the solid chocolate basket portion of the bunny when tackling it. Sometimes I would take a butter knife and saw off the entire chunk, enjoying it at my leisure. Other times, I would gnaw it off slowly, leaving teeth marks behind in the dense confection. But always, when we were done with our rabbits, my siblings and I would dutifully place it back in the box with our name on it and place it in the refrigerator for safe keeping.
Giant Chocolate Bunny
Seeing four solid chocolate bunnies in diminishing states every day in the refrigerator could bring out the devil in any child…and I was not immune. I didn’t start immediately. For the most part, I stuck it out for the ears, the head and the feet. But when my rabbit was more or less just a chunk of chocolate torso, that’s when the mischief began.
Noticing that my brother or sister were lagging behind me in the bunny-consuming contest, I was usually able to convince myself that one wouldn’t miss the ears all that much….or perhaps they’d think that they had eaten the head without remembering having done so. The trick was to keep the edge the same. If my brother was a cutter…then I made sure not to leave any ragged ends. My youngest sister was a gnawer. My five-year old mind briefly considered the fact that my crime could be prosecuted based upon my dental impressions, but I really didn’t think anybody would go to through all that bother. Luckily DNA testing had not been invented yet.
I never was caught. Of course, now one of my sisters will read this and go “Aha! I knew those were Laurie’s teeth marks!”