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The Easter Bunny is All Washed Up.

Even at an early age I found Easter to be a troubling holiday. There seemed to be certain problems and inconsistencies particularly related to that quintessential symbol of Easter—the Easter Bunny.

My first recollections of Easter were from my preschool childhood in Morgan County, Ohio. These memories include colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, various other kinds of tooth-rotting but tasty confections, grass filled baskets to hold all the aforementioned stuff, and the firmly held belief that all this largess was attributable to a rabbit of undetermined size. (The eggs, I later learned, were remnants of an ancient Greek fertility rite.) As I grew older and developed a logical and analytical mind, I began to question whether one rabbit could be responsible for all the Easter baskets everywhere in the whole world. I concluded it must require several rabbits. I then wondered if these rabbits were domestically produced at some Easter Bunny farm or were they simply wild rabbits that chose to devote their lives to the service of kidkind at Easter-time.

The problems compounded when I learned the difference between oviparous and viviparous animals. I now realized the Easter Bunny must have a coconspirator—a chicken. Not just an ordinary barnyard chicken, but one which could lay highly decorative and multicolored eggs. Where did the rabbit find such a chicken? How did they negotiate the deal without any semblance of a common language?

This mind-boggling analysis was almost more than my young brain could handle. I concluded that the rabbit—The Easter Bunny—was the problem and must be dealt with. The Easter Bunny must be replaced.

I am by no means the only one who feels the Easter Bunny needs to be replaced. Consider the case of Peter McRea and Frank Manthy (real people), two environmentalists from Australia who want to kill the Easter bunny. Not only do they want kill all the wild rabbits in Australia, they also want to eliminate chocolate Easter bunnies from every shop in Australia and replace them with something entirely different—The Easter Bilby. What is a bilby, you might ask? And well you should because very few people in the whole world have ever heard of a bilby let alone seen one. A bilby is a cute, long eared, long tailed critter about the size of a rabbit. The bilby’s very existence is being threatened because rabbits, not native to Australia, are overrunning their habitat and eating their food. These rabbits breed like—well, rabbits.

It occurs to me that if such an effort can be mounted in Australia, good old Yankee ingenuity can go one better in the US of A. Therefore, I am going to make a modest proposal that we replace the Easter bunny with the EASTER EMU.

Wow! That’s a pretty drastic change, you might say. You would, of course, be right. But drastic notwithstanding, it is a change whose time has come. Consider the following—

1. Easter Emu just sounds better than Easter Bunny. It is alliterative and rolls off the tongue easier.
2. The Easter Emu would solve the oviparous/viviparous problem. The emu can lay its own eggs and does not require a coconspirator.
3. The emu eggs come already colored—a beautiful deep emerald green. The color part comes easily and naturally to an emu—it is very difficult for a chicken and impossible for a rabbit.
4. The Easter Emu would leave just one egg per kid, rather than leaving multiple eggs, as is the practice with the Easter Bunny. An emu egg is 5 to 7 inches long and 10 to 14 inches around and weighs about 11/2 pounds. I believe one egg would by plenty for a normal kid.
5. The Easter Emu would improve the distribution problem I worried about as a youth. Emus are considerably faster than rabbits. They’re big scutters (51/2 feet tall and weigh up to 150 pounds) with long legs. They can run very fast—up to 30 miles per hour. A single emu could cover perhaps 100 times the territory of a single rabbit. Crossing rivers and other bodies of water would not be a problem because emus can also swim, a feat that rabbits accomplish only with difficulty. (I’m reminded of a swimming rabbit encountered by President Jimmy Carter, but that rabbit is no longer with us.)
6. With an Easter Emu, Easter would no longer be just for kids. Emus could personally produce and bring nice things for adults as well. For instance the Easter Emu could bring Emu Oil Dietary Supplements, “an excellent source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids that can help improve cholesterol levels…” Emu oil skin care products are also a possibility. For those who care to write a nice letter to the Easter Emu, (like a letter to Santa) you might receive an emu feather duster, emu boots, emu wieners, emu jerky and other emu food products. The possibilities are almost unlimited.
7. There is no shortage of emus to assist in this venture. There are several emus that live in my neighbor’s yard. In fact, there are hundreds of emu owners with thousands of emus in Texas alone. These emus just stand around all day and night with nothing meaningful to do. The adoption of the Easter Emu proposal would change all that. The emus would gain instant respect. If the Easter Emus could somehow be subsidized, it would provide some compensation for the emu owners who at one time mistakenly thought that emus were the way to instant wealth.
8. Finally, a whole new industry—the chocolate emu industry—would develop to replace the chocolate bunny industry. The chocolate emus could be made in various sizes up through and including life sized just like the chocolate bunny is now. The traditional way to eat the chocolate bunny is ears first. It is the only logical way. The chocolate emu on the other hand has twice the options. You can hold the emu by its long neck ant start by eating its long legs or you can hold it by its long legs and eat it head and long neck first. Trying to decide which way to do it would keep many children occupied for several minutes and indecisive children occupied for hours.

If you think this modest proposal has merit, you should write a letter of support, either e-mail or hard copy, to me. I will attach your letters to my proposal and will forward them to the United States Congress with the recommendation that we finally make our favorite spring holiday one that we can all understand and be proud of.