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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: Who wore the bunny suit?

© Another Day in the Country

On Easter, or any holiday occasion, my cousins often check in from all across Kansas.

Becky called from Wichita.

“We were thinking about you guys and remembering Tim in that bunny suit,” Becky said. “He made so many nice memories with our family. So, who wore the bunny suit this year?”

It’s been 10 years since Tim-bo died. Seems impossible; however when I look in the mirror — especially first thing in the morning — I do know there is an older and wiser woman looking back at me!

“The bunny suit stayed in the storage box this year,” we told Becky. “No official Easter Egg Hunt in the Ramona park.”

Demographics change in rural America and Ramona suffers from those changes. We used to have a lot of kids in town. Now there are only a few younger than 12.

That bunny suit got quite a bit of wear for the first 10 years that we were in Ramona.

Our first Easter in town, and a lot of years after that, Jess and I volunteered to organize the Easter Egg Hunt in the park. Jess made cupcakes and hot chocolate. For some reason I remember Easter morning being colder by some bit in those days. For sure, much colder than it was Easter morning this year.

We had eggs galore and I thought it would be fun to have an Easter Bunny. Paul, the tall, lanky, slow moving, maintenance guy for Ramona, said he’d be the Bunny. I said I’d make the suit and promptly drove to Salina to buy yards of brown furry fabric.

It was a big suit! Paul was a big guy. I also made a cap with long bunny ears and when Paul got it all on, he was a sight to behold!

Early Easter morning, he came over to Cousin’s Corner to put on the suit and get his face decorated with a bunny nose and whiskers. I tied the big pink bow around his neck, adjusted his fluffy tail and stepped back to admire my handiwork.

“You look really good,” I laughed.

“How long do I have to keep this thing on?” Paul wanted to know.

“For at least an hour,” I said.

“You’ve gotta fix these paws then,” he pleaded. “I’ve got to have a smoke!”

So I grabbed the scissors and cut finger slots in the paws. I will never forget the sight of Paul heading down to the park with the Easter basket full of eggs in one hand and a cigarette in the other, followed by a cloud of smoke.

Tim took over the bunny suit when Paul no longer could. He was a lovable roly-poly bunny with a mischievous grin. This Easter Bunny wore cowboy boots and we had to roll up the legs of the suit so they wouldn’t drag on the ground. One year, it rained so hard on Easter that the park was flooded, so Tim made house calls all over town delivering Easter baskets to the kids in Ramona. He even delivered baskets to the kids in the country who called Ramona their home town.

Easter was a quiet day at our house this year — beautiful, with sunshine and spring in the air, but quiet. We’d had our Easter celebration on Saturday with friends.

After lunch I said to Jess, “Would you do something for me so that I know it’s Easter?”

“Sure,” she said, “What do you need?”

“Would you hide some Easter eggs around my yard so that I can hunt for them?”

She laughed a little uncomfortably.

“Really?”

I nodded sheepishly.

“You looked like a little girl when you asked that,” she said. “Sure, I’ll hide some eggs for you.”

So I produced 17 Easter Eggs (Yes, I counted them so I’d know when I’d found them all) and she said, “Don’t peek.”

And out she went.

Later, I discovered that Jess really took the word “hide” seriously. She sat on the porch laughing as I searched and finally had to give me “hot” and “cold” clues to find some. I found 11 of them, but finally gave up. On another day in the country, perhaps when I mow, I’ll find the rest of them!

Last modified April 24, 2019

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