“Momma! The Easter Bunny is coming, she’ll arrive this Sunday! She’ll bring me a basket full of goodies and new games for me to play!” Brianna Bunny is filled with exuberance and hops all around their burrow in delight. She tells Momma she may not be able to sleep until Sunday night!
“Yes, my dearest Brianna, you are right! The Easter Bunny will be here before you know.” Momma Bunny twitches her large, fuzzy ears that are as white and soft as snow. Then she thumps her big feet and nuzzles the ears of her little bunny. Brianna’s ears aren’t white like her mother’s, they’re as golden as honey.
Momma does her best to redirect Brianna’s excitement, but it’s no use. This little bunny’s elation has fully turned loose! She’s prancing and bouncing off the walls. It’s as if her hopping feet have turned into two rubber balls! In a final attempt to get her to settle down, Momma suggests, “Will you help me make supper and set our table for two?” Brianna agrees, and the two bunnies decide upon making carrot stew.
Momma puts Brianna in charge of constantly stirring the pot. Soon, the little bunny calms down and becomes lost in thought. When the carrot stew reaches a boil, she asks Momma, “When I grow up, and the current Easter Bunny is ready to retire, do you think the next one chosen could be me?” Momma pats her little bunny’s head and replies, “Most certainly!”
As they happily settle at the table for their delicious meal, Momma perceives a learning opportunity and asks, “What are some of the qualities you think the Easter Bunny must possess?” Brianna soon replies, “A sense of humor, a love for animals and people, and a heart full of kindness!” Momma is proud of her answer and gives her a praising thump. “Yes, the Easter Bunny must have those qualities, as well as great vision and a remarkable jump! For Easter baskets around the world must be filled all in one night. The Easter Bunny must rely on her strong feet and keen eyesight!
Brianna looks down at her growing feet and wonders if they’ll get strong enough to travel around the world too? She sure hopes so, because she dreams of one day delivering Easter baskets in every color and hue. She ponders how she ought to also have the qualities she mentioned to Momma before. She needs to begin to develop a stronger sense of humor, love for animals and people, kindness, and more!
When the dishes are clean and put away, Brianna takes a walk to the nearby lake to gaze upon her reflection. She sees her own potential mirrored back and makes a mental connection: “I have the power within to be whatever and whoever I want to be! If I work towards this goal, someday I can be chosen as the new Easter Bunny!” Feeling hopeful and encouraged, she makes a plan. She will begin looking for opportunities to better herself the best she can.
Later in her warm bed, Brianna tries to rest her tired eyes, but sleep won’t appear. She’s too excited about her new personal goals and for the current Easter Bunny to come near. She lays awake thinking about how she might be more like the Easter Bunny tomorrow than she was today. She decides to start by having a better sense of humor in some way.
The next morning, Brianna finds Momma making a warm, raspberry streusel with love and care. The fruity scent fills their home until it’s everywhere. Momma lets her know when it’s done and cool enough to eat. These happy bunnies are hungry and cannot wait another moment for this yummy treat! As Momma gives Brianna a plate, it accidentally falls on the floor. This would usually cause Brianna to get upset, but now she remembers her goal to be better than she was before.
Instead of pouting, she laughs and tells a joke with glee. “What do you call a sad raspberry?” She waits while Momma “hmmmm’s and aahhh’s.” Then she exclaims “A blueberry!,” which earns her a giggle and an applause. Feeling good natured, Brianna cleans up the strudel mess. “This won’t be wasted, Momma, I’ll take it to my friend, Les!” She goes outside and finds Les rolling in the mud, which is his favorite spot. As a pig, he enjoys mud baths and leftover food a lot. “Here is some of Momma’s raspberry strudel,” she calls out. Les oinks with joy and exclaims, “Thank you! This is going to taste yummy, I have no doubt!”
Momma watches intently as Brianna does all of this. She’s hopeful that this improved attitude actually sticks. When her little bunny comes back inside, she questions, “If I ask you to clean up your room, what would you say?” Without hesitation she replies, “Yes, Momma. I’ll do it right away.” Even more pleased, Momma encourages her to keep the good attitude in motion. “Believing it’s important to keep a sense of humor when things go wrong is a fabulous notion.”
The next day, Brianna recalls that another goal of hers is to be more loving to animals and people too. She begins looking for things to do. On a walk with Momma, she sees a lonely deer. She asks her why there aren’t any others like her near? “They said I run too slowly, so they left me behind when they started to race.” Brianna can see the sadness on her sweet face. She learns her name is Michelle, and she and Momma invite her to join them on their walk. As they meander through the fields, they enjoy making small talk. When they eventually return to where they met, the deer bids Brianna and Momma a fond farewell. Brianna says, “You’re welcome to come play with me and my friends anytime, Michelle!” The deer trots off, and her happiness lasts for the rest of the day. Brianna showed another animal love, and still has time to also show love to a person today.
As Brianna and Momma make their way back through the fields to get home, they notice a gardener tending to his fruits and vegetables growing in the sun. There’s enough food in the soil to feed all the bunnies in their neighborhood, indeed everyone. Bunnies love to eat plants, and ones that are fresh in a garden are hard for them to pass by. Unfortunately, they tend to sneak a nibble or two, and this makes gardeners cry.
Momma and Brianna wait for the gardener to walk away. When he does, they stealthily make their way. Once they break through the tall fence, Brianna and Momma make it bunny proof once and for all. They fortify the weak points in the fence with mud and grass to make a strong interior wall. They leave just enough room to escape, before filling that gap from the outside. Then they hop into the field where they can watch and hide. Soon, the gardener returns and can scarcely believe his eyes. The earthen wall catches him completely by surprise. He can see the wisdom in what was done, and wonders who could’ve possibly accomplished this loving and kind thing? He’s so happy to have help keeping the bunnies out of his garden, that he hums and begins to sing.
Brianna feels great about beginning to embrace the qualities she sees in the Easter Bunny, and how they are positively impacting those around her. Over the last couple of days, she’s been a friend to Michelle and has helped a gardener. It’s then she realizes something important, and shares, “Kindness shouldn’t have been last on my list, for it’s embedded in all of the actions that are loving and good. Kindness naturally occurs first when I treat others as the Golden Rule says I should!”
Momma is thrilled with Brianna’s insight and her commitment to emulate the qualities of the Easter Bunny too. She reminds her that she has many years ahead to continue these worthy things she wants to do. “New ways of being don’t become habits on their own. You must faithfully put in the effort from now until you’re grown. Having a sense of humor, a love for animals and people, a heart full of kindness, and more will always serve you. Whether you become the Easter Bunny someday or not, putting these qualities into action is the right thing to do.”
On Saturday night, Brianna writes a letter to the Easter Bunny, thanking her for the baskets she has received over the years, and for setting a great example for how to live. She mentions how it’s her intention to be kind everyday and look for ways to be loving and to give. Brianna tells her how much it would mean for her to be chosen as the new Easter Bunny someday. She ends her letter by saying she’s preparing now by being kind everyday.
The next morning, the Easter Bunny finds Brianna’s letter and hops for joy! This is the best gift she’s ever been given by any girl or boy. She writes a quick note at the bottom for Brianna to read: “My dear, if you always act with love and kindness, you’ll be the next Easter Bunny, indeed!”
When Brianna wakes up, she reads the Easter Bunny’s note and hops around her burrow with glee. Yes, she’s excited about the goodies and games in the basket she received. However, she feels more enthusiastic about the future, and all the love and kindness she can bring. She can’t wait to track her progress and see how many acts of goodness she can commit by next Spring!