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A reader responds to Don Ramon

An interested reader responded to my column that appeared in The Huntsville Item on Easter Sunday. What follows is the complete text of that response and my response to that response. Other responses may follow—or maybe not.

Easter Sunday 2002

Señor Ramon,

Today I read, with a small degree of interest, your idea of changing the symbol of Easter from the Bunny to the Emu. Apparently you have done a bit of research in favor of the odd-looking Australian bird that doesn’t even fly. I give in to your argument an oviparous animal makes a great deal more sense when the current mascot pretends to lay eggs as well as hop herself around the world hiding eggs. I agree that a chicken must have had a hand in this somewhere. I’ve given several minutes thought to this exact subj give in to your argument an oviparous animal makes more sense. (Again an argument for the chicken.)
3. Aect over the course of my life. I’m not ready to write a letter of support of your proposal. However, if you want to rebut my objections we might be able to come to some understanding or compromise before submitting your totally useless idea to the United States Congress.

Taking your arguments in order:

1. Enough with alliteration. “Easter Chick” may be gender sensitive to some, but we all know who lays the eggs, so to speak, in a family.
2. Is to the already colored Emu eggs, certainly our “Yankee ingenuity” would allow us to come up with a chicken feed to produce different colored eggs on Easter morn.
4. “One egg per kid!!!!” Come on. The fun of it all is for kids to fight over who gets the most eggs. Sometimes the 10 year-olds kill their younger siblings for this honor.
5. I will leave number 5 and 6 to be dealt with in my closing argument.
6. Same as above.
7. True there are many rich airline pilots who bought into the idea of tax savings by raising Emus, but pilots don’t need more money than they already have.
8. Chocolate bunnies, emus, or hens don’t matter to a kid. Most are empty chocolate shells and all kids feel cheated by these obvious Wal-Mart items.

My closing argument FOR the egg distribution problem also has “family values.” The whole family can participate in this scenario:

Every family raises 6 hens in a cage in their back yard. (OK there’s a “block rooster” to make occasional rounds). The aforementioned egg-dying feed would only be used once a year. Then on Easter morning, all neighborhood cages will be opened and the hens can lay their eggs in any spot they want. This will allow parents as well as children a chance

to go on an Easter egg hunt together (family values again). Then after the hunt and the prize for finding the most eggs, the families round up their chickens, pick one or more to cook for dinner and put the rest back in the cages for another year.

With excessive sincerity,

Margaret Conwell

P. S. Hal wanted to make a comment, but he doesn’t know how to use a computer and won’t even TRY to learn! Until then he doesn’t have a vote.

Señora Conwell,

I read with great interest your response to my suggestion that the Easter Bunny be replaced with the Easter Emu. I found one or two of your arguments to be sufficiently compelling to merit a speedy response and a suggestion that you forward your comments to The Huntsville Item. The significance of the issues involved merits a much wider debate than simply an exchange of e-mails.

Responding to your arguments in order:

1. Alliteration always affects alert adversaries adversely hence should not be dismissed so lightly. . "Easter Chick" has little to recommend it.

2. Thanks for your concession.

3. I have seen colored eggs produced by chickens. Whether attributable to specially formulated food or genetics, the egg color is uniformly weak and washed out. Emu eggs are just prettier.

4. This is your most persuasive argument. As the eldest of 6 siblings, I find the prospect of having a legitimate excuse to eliminate one or two younger siblings does have a certain appeal.

5. and 6 are both subsumed under your chicken argument.

7. You got me on this one.

8. Not a bad point, but you must admit a life sized chocolate emu, hollow or not, is considerably more impressive than a life sized chicken or rabbit. All dentists I have talked to concur on this point.

Your "family values" argument is worth thinking about and is, I believe, the basis for a compromise. The compromise I suggest is-- let's cross a chicken and emu to produce a somewhat smaller and more manageable bird to do the work you contemplate for chickens. To accomplish this we should find a particularly enthusiastic, testosterone-enhanced rooster with delusions of grandeur to serve as the foundation stud for our project. This should not be difficult in Texas. Our super stud rooster would then "visit" as many female emus as possible-- I calculate at least 30 per day would be about right. Again, this is Texas. The offspring of this union would provide the foundation herd for our project. We then implement the scenario you suggest. (As an aside, I thought about using a male emu to "visit" chicken hens but the mental image of both the breeding and the egg laying process was too horrible to conceive--- so to speak.)

If nothing else this compromise would avoid a serious flaw in your plan for using chickens, i.e. most sub-divisions have specific restrictions against harboring chickens. The critter involved in our compromise would not be specifically restricted because he/she/it does not yet exist, hence could not be specifically prohibited.

As a final thought, I strongly believe that working together we can forge a workable plan that will revolutionize Easter for the benefit of all children and their families.

Your Interested Compatriot

Don Ramon

P.S. Sorry about Hal's being technologically challenged.