Johnny America


Bun­ny Ears


Word trav­eled fast at school on Mon­day. Em­ma Jakows­ki had ac­tu­al­ly cap­tured him. He was be­ing held in her dad’s tool shed. Any­one who want­ed to see him had to be in the Jakowski’s back­yard by 3:15 that af­ter­noon, choco­late bun­ny ears in hand.

It was no se­cret that Em­ma loved choco­late bun­ny ears bet­ter than any oth­er form of East­er can­dy. She im­me­di­ate­ly ate the ears off of her choco­late East­er Bun­ny every year and dis­card­ed the rest. It just didn’t taste the same with­out the ears. She al­so woke up ear­ly every East­er and ate the ears off of all five of her younger sib­lings’ bun­nies. Her sib­lings had nev­er even tast­ed choco­late East­er Bun­ny ears. They al­ways com­plained to their moth­er, of course, but Mrs. Jakows­ki could do noth­ing to get their bun­ny ears back. She could on­ly take away the rest of Emma’s can­dy and di­vide it be­tween the sib­lings. This was re­al­ly no great pun­ish­ment since Em­ma didn’t have any in­ter­est in jelly­beans or marsh­mal­low chicks or even goo-filled choco­late eggs. It was bun­ny ears or nothing.

Some­where around her eleventh birth­day, Em­ma fi­nal­ly de­cid­ed she could no longer live with hav­ing bun­ny ears on­ly once a year. She want­ed bun­ny ears every day. Of course that meant she was go­ing to have to go to the source. She would take him by force, if necessary.

There was much spec­u­la­tion about how she ac­tu­al­ly in­tend­ed to cap­ture the East­er Bun­ny, but Em­ma re­fused to re­veal her plan. When pressed, she point­ed out that the East­er Bun­ny prob­a­bly had spies every­where and she didn’t want word get­ting back to him. She spent much time up in the Jakows­ki tree house build­ing some sort of trap. The rest of the Jakows­ki clan was strict­ly for­bid­den to even so much as peek in the tree house and not one of them dared to cross Em­ma. They knew she would make good on her threat to cut them off of all East­er can­dy for the rest of their lives once she had the East­er Bun­ny as her pris­on­er. On­ly Jo­Jo had been let in­to the tree house and giv­en a very spe­cial job to do, so the ru­mors said. But he wasn’t talking.

One part of the plan was clear. Any­one who want­ed to see the East­er Bun­ny had to pay with a set of sol­id choco­late bun­ny ears. Hol­low ears would not be ac­cept­ed. On­ly sol­id choco­late bun­ny ears were worth a glimpse of the Rab­bit himself.

That East­er, all across the neigh­bor­hood, choco­late bun­ny ears were lopped off and stashed away in sand­wich bag­gies or wrapped in tis­sue or alu­minum foil. They were hid­den away in back­packs so they wouldn’t be for­got­ten Mon­day morn­ing. There were those who re­ceived hol­low bun­nies and burst in­to tears, much to their par­ents’ dis­tress. There were oth­ers who re­al­ly didn’t be­lieve Em­ma could do it and so ate their bun­ny ears. Bun­ny ears were trad­ed or stolen as need­ed. Hav­ing a tick­et to see the East­er Bun­ny was worth mak­ing an en­e­my or three.

Jo­Jo stood at the back gate and held a huge East­er bas­ket while a line formed. Un­der Emma’s watch­ful eye, Jo­Jo ex­am­ined every set of bun­ny ears be­fore they were ac­cept­ed. Any ears that were deemed faulty, whether they were too small, hol­low, or had mark­ings sus­pi­cious­ly sim­i­lar to bite marks, were tossed in­to a small­er bas­ket and that un­for­tu­nate kid was asked to leave. Once all the wor­thy ears were de­posit­ed in the big bas­ket and the cho­sen chil­dren were al­lowed in the yard, Em­ma sig­naled Jo­Jo. He hand­ed the small­er bas­ket to the younger Jakows­ki sib­lings to dis­pose of as they saw fit and dis­ap­peared in­to the house with the large bas­ket. He came back out in­to the yard and gave Em­ma the thumbs up sign. She cleared her throat and si­lence fell over the back yard.

“I won’t lie to you,” she be­gan. “Cap­tur­ing the East­er Bun­ny wasn’t easy. I ap­pre­ci­ate your gen­er­ous do­na­tions while we’re in the process of negotiating.”

She paused a mo­ment and the crowd inched clos­er to the shed.

“I promise that as soon as the East­er Bun­ny and I come to terms, you will all be paid back with all the choco­late you can eat.”

A cheer arose from the crowd and Em­ma al­lowed the noise to con­tin­ue for a mo­ment be­fore she held up her hands. As the crowd­ed qui­et­ed down, she waved Jo­Jo for­ward and asked him to open the shed door. He was painstak­ing­ly slow.

When the door was fi­nal­ly open, the chil­dren fran­ti­cal­ly searched the dark­ness for the East­er Bun­ny. Fi­nal­ly some­one spot­ted move­ment in the far cor­ner and as all eyes fol­lowed that person’s fin­ger, a small brown bun­ny took a cou­ple of hops to­wards the door.

“Jo­Jo,” Em­ma hissed, “You were sup­posed to put him in the cage!”

Jo­Jo looked wide-eyed at his sis­ter and stut­tered a lit­tle, un­able to re­spond. All eyes were on the bun­ny. The air was thick with won­der­ment and the bun­ny seemed par­a­lyzed with fear. Fi­nal­ly, with no warn­ing, the bun­ny leapt to life and zigzagged through the crowd be­fore any­one re­al­ized what happened.

“Af­ter him!” Em­ma shout­ed. In­stant­ly the crowd of chil­dren took off through the neigh­bor­hood af­ter the East­er Bun­ny. Em­ma and Jo­Jo fol­lowed the crowd to the end of their dri­ve­way. They came to a slow stop and watched the crowd of chil­dren fol­low the bun­ny in­to the park down the street where they veered out of sight.

Em­ma turned to­wards Jo­Jo. Both were grin­ning. She gave her broth­er a high five and turned back to­wards the shed where her youngest sib­lings stood wait­ing. They wore choco­late smeared smiles and al­ready held the huge bas­ket of bun­ny ears be­tween them.

“I told you they were the best, didn’t I?” she asked as she helped her­self to a pair of choco­late bun­ny ears.

Filed under Fiction on March 19th, 2008

Care to Share?

Reader Comments

JJ wrote:

Egg­cel­lent sto­ry, scrolling in de­light on my iphone ea­ger to find out the outcome.

amanda wrote:

En­joyed it (as I al­so en­joy this new­ly-dis­cov­ered and most ex­cel­lent pub­li­ca­tion), but I’m al­so tick­led East­er-pink by the idea up above that you can read this site in an Iphone. What a neat idea!

Consider posting a note of comment on this item:


Previous Post


Next Post


Join our Irregular Mailing List

For very occasional ramblings, word about new print ephemera, and of course exciting investment opportunities.