By Johna Till Johnson
Friday night I saw something I haven’t seen since I was five or six years old: The Easter Bunny! Who, apparently, buys wine for Easter dinner just like the rest of us.
Actually, I didn’t quite see the Easter Bunny back then, either. So technically this was my first actual sighting.
We were living in Naples, Italy, at the time. I’d awakened early Easter morning, excitedly anticipating the basket and associated goodies, only to find… nothing.
Nada. Zilch. The Easter bunny, apparently, hadn’t arrived.
Maybe he just hadn’t arrived yet, my parents suggested optimistically. Maybe he’d show up later on. There was still time! So, like the good Catholic family that we were, we headed off to Easter Mass.
Upon our return, I pushed through our creaky garden gate. My father was holding my hand. “Look!” he shouted suddenly. “It’s the Easter bunny! I saw his fluffy white tail!” And the two of us dashed off around the house in mad pursuit. I didn’t see anything, but I wasn’t as tall as my dad. And maybe, if we ran fast enough, I’d actually see the Easter bunny!
You know how this story ends: when we came in the front door, panting and puffing, we discovered a giant, green-and-yellow Easter basket on the kitchen table. We hadn’t succeeded in seeing him, but evidently the Easter bunny had arrived.
Even as young as I was, I put the pieces together pretty quickly. I never found out what happened to delay the Easter basket, or at what point my parents hatched the scheme.
And I don’t remember why I figured it out. Maybe it was the fact that my father, who hadn’t the slightest bit of whimsy, didn’t pull off his acting job quite credibly. All I know is that was the end of my believing in the Easter bunny.