Easter

Happy Easter everyone!

As you know, we celebrate Easter because that’s the day that the Easter Bunny was born. He was born on Easter Island a very long time ago. The remote island, also known as Rapa Nui, is just over 2000 miles west of Chile. (If you didn’t know that Chile is in South America, then shame on you!) Easter Island is where those famous weird statues are located, the ones that look like huge people were buried standing up, staring out to sea.

Jared Ruby, a highly respected anthropologist, theorizes that these statues used to be very large bunnies with long ears, as if the ancients worshipped the Easter Bunny. After all, the Easter Bunny brings baskets of eggs, candy and presents to children, and isn’t that a really wonderful thing that we should be thankful for? Ruby thinks that the presence of these huge rabbit statues represents a form of adoration bordering on deification. If the Easter Bunny was not so revered, why else would huge statues of him be constructed?

Ancient documents have been found in caves on the islands, written in a strange language that seems to combine German and Polynesian. In addition, the printing on the documents is unusual, because it appears to be one of the earliest examples of two-columns-per-page printing. These documents have been analyzed by scientists at MIT, who determined that the material that had been written on is actually many square yards of rabbit ears that were flattened and dried. This is why these historical papers are being called the Dead Ear Scrolls.

When translated, these scrolls suggest that Easter Bunnies came from a single original Bunny, and were all descended from him. The Easter Bunny was thought to be immortal, since he had been around for so long. But actually, the “Easter Bunny” was the current living bunny in the family line. The title was passed along from father to son, like the Phantom from the comic strip. They just let people believe that EB, as he is known among the family, is immortal, since that seemed to bestow more prestige and power on him, and people loved him more for it.

The Dead Ear Scrolls go on to say that, more than being immortal, the Easter Bunny myth was that he died each year after all the hard work of delivering eggs and candy. Then, the next year, he would somehow come back to life.

Footnotes to the scrolls show that the family thought it was sort of comical that people believed that once an Easter Bunny died he could somehow be resurrected, and come back to life. But people will believe anything, as noted by the popular theologian, P.T. Barnum. I mean, really, if something or someone dies, that’s it — they’re dead; end of story. David Hume, the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, in his 1748 work, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, wrote an essay called “On Miracles.” In it he says that it’s hilariously improbable — that’s what miracles are — that someone could die and then be brought back to life.

Further, the scrolls tell us that over a long period of time, the Easter Bunny provoked the ire of the Catholic Church. Some high-ranking officials of the church frowned upon the growing fame and popularity of the Easter Bunny, and also didn’t like the idea that people thought that he was immortal, since that was their territory. The scrolls even tell us that sometimes, shockingly, the Bunny did not die of natural causes.

Indeed, it seems that, following in the tradition of the Spanish Inquisition, church officials had tortured and killed many Easter Bunnies. Over the years the Bunny had been put on the rack and the Judas Cradle, had been subjected to the Pear of Anguish and the Chair of Torture, had been burned at the stake, and had his feet crushed and roasted. In later years he had been shot, stabbed, drowned, electrocuted, strangled, zapped with radiation, dropped from an airplane, poisoned and hit on the head with a very large Bible.

(It was very clear that the Catholic Church didn’t like the competition represented by the Easter Bunny, and so they sent a zealous commando, like the Silas character in “The DaVinci Code,” to Easter Island to knock the ears off all the statues. That’s why the statues as we see them now look more like people than large bunnies.)

Mostly, though, the happy family members of the Easter Bunny line live to a very old age, and become very good golfers and ardent birdwatchers. Not only are some of the birds catalogued by the birdwatching Bunnies the sources of all those Easter eggs, but if you look very closely at the contents of an Easter basket, you may see some golf balls nestled among the eggs.

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