The Bunny and the Over-Imaginative Child

I’ll admit I didn’t take my kids to many holiday-themed events during their preschool years. I tried taking my daughter to see Santa once, but it was not a success. After a half hour wait to get her into the magic cottage, she walked out sighing because the man she’d talked to was was “only an elf filling in for Santa.”

He looked properly Santa-esque to me, so I asked, “Did he tell you that?”

“No, but I asked him questions that only the real Santa would know, and he couldn’t answer.”

Apparently, she’d been cross-examining him about whether some of her recent activities had shown up on the “naughty” reports. Her only concern was whether she had to make up “nice” points before the lists were checked twice.

So we didn’t try the Santa thing again, but a couple years later we had an Easter party at my office. The lady coordinating it had gotten her hands on a 6-foot bunny costume and strong-armed an intern into wearing it. He was a good sport and greeted all the kids, then took them outside to hunt eggs.

While they were occupied, he came inside, flopped into a chair, and told us he was so hot he thought was going to pass out. He took the head off and asked if he could leave it that way. Nope. Then he discovered that the reason it was so hot is that the mask had two layers of black mesh lining. He pulled out one layer and said not only could he breathe now, he could also see much better.

The problem was, it also made the mask see-through. The only opening was the part that was the bunny’s mouth, which was partially blocked by the big buck teeth, but when we bent down to look up at him, we could see him through the mesh.

There was a short debate about whether this was appropriate, but the intern informed us that if we didn’t want the kids to see a bunny passed out on the floor, this was the solution we were going with.

The kids came back in and we lined them up to get their goody bags from the big bunny.

My daughter was next in line when she suddenly took my hand and pulled me into a quiet corner. Wide-eyed, she cupped her hand to my ear and whispered.

“I think the Easter Bunny ate someone.”

I have to admit, my first reaction was to be impressed. She had spotted the outline of the young guy inside the smiling bunny’s mouth, made the logical leap that the bunny had eaten him, alive and whole, and yet … she did not run screaming from the building!

At her age, I think I might have.

We had to wait until all the other kids were done, then I asked the intern to step into the hall and take his head off so we could prove to her that it was just a costume. Over my shoulder, the intern gave the boss lady a definite “I told you so,” look.

I’ve always been curious whether she was the only kid to spot the intern inside the costume, or if the other kids decided to go with it so it wouldn’t interrupt the candy delivery.

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