The Easter Bunny is Sick

“What ya doin? Eh? Eh? Eh?” Jack Rabbit was bouncing around, thumping the ground and questioning the rabbit in the yellow dress and green shawl. “No eggs no eggs! What ya doin?” Jack found it very hard to stay focused, so he bounced off down the field before leaping into the air, spinning around, shouting “All Clear!” into the burrow, and bouncing back up again. The Easter Bunny, for that was who it was, looked sad as she explained that she was sick, and could not get all the eggs to all the humans for their feast. Wise Owl had an idea.

Having discussed the matter with The Easter Bunny and Jack Rabbit, Wise Owl flew swiftly back to his tree, and explained the problem to Blackbird. Blackbird nodded eagerly and flew back to the little town.

Blackbird tapped with his beak on Mrs Listenwell’s window. She hurried out to find out what Blackbird had to say. “Easter Bunny is sick and cannot transport all the Easter Eggs to all the children, the townspeople must follow me to help her.” Mrs Listenwell passed the message on to her neighbours, who passed it on and so very soon all the townsfolk were gathered in the market square to hear what Blackbird had to say.

What followed was a splendid sight. All the townsfolk followed Blackbird to Far Distant Wood, where Wise Owl was waiting. Then Wise Owl and Blackbird flew at the head of the procession down through the lush meadow and to the next field where hundreds of bunnies were fetching Easter Eggs from all the secret places in and around the meadows and woods. The pile of Easter Eggs reached up into the sky, and the townspeople then each took as many as they could carry back to the town. Easter Bunny wiped her eyes with her green shawl as she watched happily knowing the children would be pleased that the Easter Bunny had provided Easter Eggs as usual.

Finally it was over. All the eggs had been collected for the children, and all the rabbits and baby bunnies were once again snuggled down in their burrows. The Easter Bunny sipped a hot lemon drink and fell asleep in her big armchair, and Wise Owl went hunting in the gloom.

Blackbird sang his last song of the evening and Bristlebrush Town turned off it’s lights and slept, knowing that Easter had been saved.

In the little town of Bristlebrush the parents were worried. It was three days before Easter and there were no Easter eggs anywhere. The parents looked in all the shops, and searched in all the fields and hedges, and gathered in little groups to talk quietly about the problem. “No Easter eggs! What will we do? Johnny and Mary will be very upset!” “My twins, Arthur and Stanley, will be very upset too! Whatever can we do?”

Just then a beautiful blackbird flew past, heard the parents talking and perched on a garden fence to listen. Blackbird cocked his head on one side and his little beady eyes glistened. He sang “ I will visit the distant woods and speak to the Wise Owl, he will know what to do” One of the grown-ups, Mrs Listenwell, heard the blackbird’s song and her memory of childhood, when she was closer to nature, came back.

She told the group of parents what the blackbird’s song had said, and they were very pleased that Blackbird was going to help them. “Thank you Blackbird” they called as Blackbird flew away in the direction of the far distant woods.

Wise Owl was perched on the branch of a large oak tree reading a book. Blackbird fluttered down and perched beside him, but waited quietly until Wise Owl finished his paragraph – that was the polite thing to do, and Wise Owl approved of good manners. Wise Owl plucked a feather from his breast and used it to mark his place in his book. He closed the book, and turned and looked at Blackbird. “Is there something I can do for you?” he hooted softly, noticing that Blackbird had a worried frown.“Oh, Wise Owl, you are wise, and the people of Bristlebrush town need help. It is three days until Easter Sunday, and the children are looking forward to having chocolate eggs as a treat for being good. The grown-ups cannot find any chocolate eggs to purchase for their children. They have looked in the hedges, and in the fields and in the town shops. There are no chocolate eggs. The children will be disappointed and upset”. Wise Owl thought for a moment, then said “I will visit the Grand Burrow of Jack Rabbit and tell him the tale. He will know what to do.”

Wise Owl flew off swiftly and silently, leaving Blackbird to look after his book. The book was called “The Tree of Knowledge, Everything An Owl Needs To Know” Blackbird was very impressed. No wonder Wise Owl was so clever! Blackbird settled down on the branch and looked after Wise Owl’s book very carefully while he waited for Wise Owl’s return.

Wise Owl swooped over the hedge and looked astonished as a lady rabbit wearing a yellow dress and with a green shawl around her shoulders emerged from a hidden burrow entrance in the corner of the next field, and sneezed, “ATISHOO!”

Across the meadow, in the corner of a lush green field, Wise Owl stood at the entrance of the Grand Burrow. “Hellooo” he hooted into the entrance. The sound bounced along the winding tunnels and passages of the burrow, wakening the sleeping kits and jolting the adult rabbits sitting in their chairs, reading, knitting or playing cards with their friends. “What on earth was that!” Mrs Furrybundle twitched her nose and whiskers in alarm. “Sounds like Wise Owl!” said Mr Furrybundle, hugging her close. “Don’t worry my dear, we are safe in our snug little burrow, and the babies are asleep”

Seven little bunny faces popped up and stared at mummy and daddy rabbit with their bright little eyes. “What’s an owl, daddy?” they chorused cheerfully, as they sat up wide awake now. “Helloooooooooo” came the noise again and the little bunnies all huddled together in a panic. “Stay in your burrows! Stay in your burrows!”  It was the Burrow Supervisor broadcasting the announcement over the rabbit tannoy system. “Stay in your burrows until the all clear!”

Jack Rabbit, the largest, strongest rabbit in the community, went up the passages and tunnels to the entrance to see Wise Owl sitting just outside in the lush green grass.

“So sorry to disturb you” Wise Owl hooted while stretching his claws, “The children in Bristlebrush have no Easter Eggs, and it’s only three days until Easter. Can you help?”

“Yeah, yeah! No probs!” Jack Rabbit bounced up and down and suddenly rushed off up the hill and under the hedge. “Come on!” he shouted out, thumping his back foot several times on the ground.

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