The Bunny Hunt
Martin Hooijmans | Lars de Ruyter
William tried to rub the sleep out of his eyes, then peeked with watery eyes at his little sister. “Any luck yet?”
“Shh! If you have anything to say, whisper,” Lucie said, keeping her own voice so low that William had to lean in to hear. He threw the girl an apologetic grin.
It was early Easter morning, and the rising sun cast a bleak light over the meadow. William and Lucie lay hidden in the high grass, silent as mice, intent on the beautifully painted egg a few feet away.
“Do you think he’s still coming?” William asked, dropping his voice to the required level.
“Yes,” Lucie answered.
“He didn’t come in the past six days.”
“He was busy.”
“Lucie, I don’t th…”
“You can leave if you want to.”
William really couldn’t. Mom had made him come. Which was his fault, really. He was the one who had told Lucie that the Easter Bunny could be lured with a painted egg.
“I don’t want to leave,” he said. “I just don’t have as much faith as you.”
“But you’re the one who told me I would see him.”
“I know.” Lucie stared up at him with these big brown eyes of hers, and he realized he would just have to endure it. Anything better than breaking a young girl’s heart, especially a sister’s.
Something moved in the grass, and Lucie snapped to attention. A moment later, a man-sized bunny hopped into sight, sniffing around for a bit before heading for the painted egg.
“Oooooooooh!” he exclaimed in a squeaky voice, picking up his trophy. “What have we here?”
Lucie couldn’t contain her excitement anymore. She jumped up and ran over to the magical creature. “I made that for you, Mister Easter Bunny,” she said.
The Easter Bunny looked pleased. “It’s absolutely beautiful, little Lucie. Thank you very much.” He squatted down and gently tapped the girl on her nose. “Now, I believe there are some surprises waiting for you in your garden.”
“Really?” Lucie cried out. “What kind of surprises?”
“Maybe you should go and find out.”
The honk of a car turned all heads. In the distance, the siblings could see their mom waving for them to come.
“You coming?” William asked.
“Yeah,” Lucie said. “I just want to say goodbye.”
At the car, William saw mom with a huge grin on her face.
“Good one, mom. How’d you get dad to do it?”
Mom couldn’t hold in her laughter. “We just couldn’t watch you suffer anymore, Will, that’s all. Now, your sister’s coming. Let’s go home.”