“The Easter Bunny”
It happened early on Easter morning. I was five years old at the time and had, with my brother as my sole companion, embarked on a big-boy adventure, flying down to Florida to stay with my grandparents. My grandmother was a delightful, short, round woman who, at every opportunity lavished love on and spoiled us. I was supremely excited about both Florida and Easter, for I had never before seen the ocean and was a great lover of holidays. We were staying in one of those little beachfront motels that used to dot the coast above Fort Lauderdale, in one of those garish and tacky rooms rendered magical in a child’s mind by its proximity to the shell-strewn beach. I was put to bed on a sofa in the living room. At some point, a brilliant beam of sunlight made its way through the Venetian blinds and wakened me. And then I saw him, the Easter Bunny. He was gigantic, the top of his head nearly touching the ceiling. He looked, with his long drooping ears, dark eyes, and whiskered chin exactly as he should have. He wore a sky-blue jacket and white trousers. We made direct eye contact and he smiled and nodded at me approvingly. Having always been told that one should never sneak a peek at Santa Claus, I considered it best to shut my eyes and pretend to be asleep. Being young and thus drunk with natural melatonin, I immediately fell back into real sleep. They tried, of course, to convince me that I had been dreaming, but I knew that I hadn’t. I even remembered catching a glimpse of a palm tree through the blinds when I was examining the exotic visitor. For years, I wondered if the motel had hired the Bunny as a promotional device. But my grandmother, who never lied to me, assured me that no such program existed. Life is full of wonders!