Easter Bunny, Busted

April 14, 2009 | 12 comments

It started out innocently — this picturesque moment with the Easter Bunny.

The doorbell rang, just as my husband was pulling the ham from the oven. I looked past a table covered with china and crystal (and purple Peeps) to see a costumed guest waving at me through the window.

“Girls! Girls!” I called. “Look who’s here!”

They raced for the door. Anna arrived at the doorway first, starstruck by a cartoonish bunny with floppy pink ears and a yellow bow-tie.

Lydia watched from a distance, shooting knowing glances at me while her little sister went gaga over the Easter Bunny. We raise our children in the Christian faith, but truly, I think Anna would have told Christ Himself to wait His turn if He had showed up in the flesh on the doorstep on Sunday afternoon.

For this moment, it was all about The Bunny.

Anna and the Easter Bunny shared repeated hugs. The rabbit — who uttered not a word — held furry paws over a buck-teeth grin and silently “giggled” at Anna’s stories. Anna and Bunny posed for pictures, taken by Bunny’s “bodyguard,” who (just between us) is also the Bunny’s boyfriend.

This was perfect, so it seemed, and we documented every moment.

This was one for the books. Until Easter Bunny hopped away. That’s when things got ugly. I had seen it earlier, this telltale tuft of ponytail peeking between fabric on the back of Bunny’s head.


Anna caught a glimpse of it, just as Bunny turned to hop down the sidewalk.

Next came a look of horror, then an accusing glare at me. Was I — her own mother — in on this: The Great Bunny Conspiracy of 2009?

“Mommy, that is NOT the Easter Bunny. That’s a person,” Anna said as she waved an accusing finger. “I saw hair on the back of that Bunny.”

“Oh, honey,” I grasped for words. “Are you sure? Maybe it was a brown patch of fur.”

“No Mommy,” she said. “It was people hair. That. Was. Not. The. Easter. Bunny.”

Furthermore, she asserted, “that bunny’s costume smelled bad.” (“Elf” fans, remember this line: “You smell like beef and cheese; you don’t smell like Santa.”)

Anna and I discussed the possibility that the real Easter Bunny had dispatched helpers to visit especially good children like her. And we talked through a number of other (weak) possibilities for which I grasped.

Nothing worked. Anna surmised this: “That Bunny tricked me.”

Anna suggested that the Bunny, while covering her mouth, was actually laughing at her, not with her. She suggested that the “Bodyguard” was there to document the trickery.

“That was mean, Mommy!” Anna said. “I don’t like that Bunny.”

This was it. It was over. My oldest child, only 7, had already given up on the fantasy. And now, I was about to lose my 4-year-old to a heavy dose of cynicism.

All because of an errant ponytail — the hair of the hare.

Then came this, a glimmer of hope.

“It’s OK, Mommy,” she said. “Because the real Easter Bunny is in his cave, and he’s coming to see me next year.”

I have one year. Could be my last.

WANTED: One Easter Bunny costume with no visible seams. Bald or white-haired volunteer highly recommended.

by | April 14, 2009 | 12 comments


  1. Lyla Lindquist

    The ideal candidate should smell like rabbit.

    Oh, giving up childhood wonder. I say that as I have one starting to shave.

  2. Billy Coffey

    I dread when this day will come to my kids.

    The Easter Bunny has always seemed to me the weakest link in the holiday character chain. The ghosts and goblins of Halloween linger, and kids will hang on to Santa for years, but the Easter Bunny’s another story. Why is that?

    The good news, I suppose, is that you have one year to come up with the perfect plan. And not to put any pressure on you, but it better be a doozy!

  3. Chris Godfredsen

    Your girls are simply too quick! But what a great story – I can see you scrambling for something (anything) to maintain the wonder of the Easter bunny. Looking forward to next Easter already – wondering who is going to dare to go hopping to your door, knowing full-well that they could be the bunny that bursts Anna’s bubble for good!

  4. Chris Godfredsen

    Your girls are simply too quick! But what a great story – I can see you scrambling for something (anything) to maintain the wonder of the Easter bunny. Looking forward to next Easter already – wondering who is going to dare to go hopping to your door, knowing full-well that they could be the bunny that bursts Anna’s bubble for good!

  5. janelle

    I don’t know – this is just too funny. I can just see her standing there pointing her finger, maybe a hand on her hip…

    The beauty Jennifer, is this: when she no longer believes in the Easter bunny, she will still have the One who will never deceive her or trick her and who promises and supplies, even more and better things than the E.B. ever could!

  6. Chrissy

    oh no! It’s bound to happen someday.. it’s just so fun to play along! Hopefully next year the bunny will back!

  7. prairie sisterchick

    I love it. Do not feel bad, this year I have lost it with both of my kids this year on everything. Alexander has had doubts for some time now but was still being hopeful until this year. He promised to not ruin it for his little sister but then, Michaela told me yesterday that the Easter bunny wasn’t real. When asked how do you know, she said “I hugged him at the restaurant yesterday and he felt like a person, so I looked at him when he wasn’t looking and I saw his clothes through the hole in his fur”. She is sure her first grade teacher will confirm, b/c Mrs. Van tells them that “sometimes moms and dads do things to make stuff more fun for them”.

  8. valerie lynn

    I feel your pain my friend. My kids found out a few Easter’s ago that the “Easter bunny” was indeed their dad. Therefore, no more Easter bunnies in this house. They were actually pretty cool about the whole situation. It didn’t seem to bother them a bit. Blessings!

  9. Hope42Day

    I remember my youngest questioning his belief in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. The hoops I had to jump through to keep all of them alive!! Now he contemplates his religious beliefs. Except this time, I don’t have to jump, because I know how real Faith is…

  10. sharilyn

    love it!! 🙂

  11. Alleluiabelle

    I can’t help it. This is so funny. The same thing happened to us when our kids were younger only it was with Santa Claus. My mother-in-law used to have Santa come over on Christmas Eve and have each one of the kids sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas…untl one of our kids spotted “the dark brown hair”. That was it. It was all over then. It is sad though, because the the questions are to come up about the tooth fairy and on and on and on.

    Good luck and I hope you get another year out of it.


  12. The Hohensee's

    You know that eventually they won’t believe in things like the Easter Bunny, but somehow it makes them seem so grown up at such a young age. I was informed by my 6-year-old that she knows the Easter Bunny isn’t real because she saw her basket in our closet. Darn!! I need to find better hiding spots.


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