There are a few things that happen when a kid is just leaving the toddler age. I don't know who thought them up or who would ever think they were a good idea but my brain apparently didn't process things the same as other kids. I didn't understand life any more than the average kid but I asked a lot of questions. And I was always trying to do things myself. Fix things. Break things. Throw things. Just to see what would happen. Naturally overtly curious and I tried to make sense of everything in my world. But sometimes adults throw you a curve ball.
My sister, who is 8 years older than myself, and I would often spend time at my grandparents house. They lived next door so it wasn't a huge ordeal. You just open one door, walk a little ways, and go into another door. Pretty simple. We would sleep over from time to time. I dont know why. Not sure if it was because our grandparents wanted to have us so much or because our parents wanted to go out and party and would come home boozed up. We stayed over on easter once. It was my first memory of the easter bunny. I think I was about 4 yrs old.
As it was told to me, the easter bunny is a human sized rabbit that walks on two legs and comes to your house (just like Santa) and leaves all sorts of sugary candy treats and hides colorful hardboiled eggs for you to find like playing hide and seek. It is a pleasant enough story and is supposed to bring joy and excitement to a youngster. You get a good night's sleep and be a good boy and there is a biiiiiig payoff on the backend. But not for this youngster. I had trouble working out the whole scenario in my head. It just didn't make sense no matter how much I noodled it through.
Easter night we went to bed or were put to bed or whatever they did with us, just like any other night. Only this time my head was armed with this new data about a purported nocturnal bipedal rodent. A rabbit that was given freedom to roam anywhere and everywhere it pleased in pursuit of children's dreams.
That night I am sure I fell fast asleep. I'm sure my RAM and hard drive were working feverishly in the background of my brain trying to put all the pieces of this rabbit puzzle together. I had a dream. A dream as vivid to me now as it seems to have been then. In my dream I was in my bed in my NASA rockets jammies lying as still as possible. I was listening for the faintest noise that could be a sign of the bunny intruder. I wanted to catch this predator red handed. I needed hard evidence, proof positive of this nocturnal being before I could make it right in my mind. I lay there for a long time before I finally heard the first perceptible footfalls. I pulled the covers up over my head slowly and positioned myself for a prime view of the door of the bedroom. I was a ninja. I was stealth. I would not be perceived as anything other than a random rock laying on the bed. Perfectly natural. Perfectly normal. Undetected.
The door to the room slowly swung open revealing a tall white rabbit. All white from head to toe. He had not clothing except for a dark colored patterned suit vest with a gold pocket watch chain hanging from the vest pocket. No hat. No shoes. I just remember the vest and that the rabbit had a giant freaking head. The rabbit cradled a woven basket made of a natural woody material. The rabbit had big dark eyes devoid of human qualities. The pink nose would occasionally move revealing thin whiskers barely perceptible in the substantial moonlight flowing through the windows. My sister was obviously fast asleep and was not moved at all by the sight before me. The easter bunny walked around the room placing items from the basket at various locations. I didn't breathe. I didn't move a muscle. I was transfixed on this specter invading my space.
I was terrified! Mortified! Petrified! I hated everything about this bunny and his cavalier attitude towards one's personal space. My mind raced. The bunny finished his work and left the room just as he had arrived. My brain spun and spun. How could this happen? What kind of grandparents would allow a giant headed vest wearing basket wielding pervert bunny into their house unescorted? How is this allowed to happen in homes all over the world? What happened to the keepers of the young? Where were my protectors? OMFG!!! I spun Dorothy-like back into an uncomfortable slumber and awoke the next day alive, rich in easter treats, and haunted by the real event that I had witnessed the night before.
Even at that age I was fully aware that this bunny episode was a complete loss of trust and safety for me. What the hell are people thinking when they tell kids about the tooth fairy and the easter bunny and santa claus. Lalalalalala. Come on in. Door's always open here. Yep you can kill em and eat em for all we care. Our trusted protectors are actually partners in this crime by allowing it to happen. In one sentence they tell you they will fight to the death to protect you while at the same time they give the keys to your room to any old stranger bearing gifts. Just. Wow.
I never spoke of my encounter on the bus. I never admitted it to any of us. No I did not manage my adult