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What is the meaning of Easter? And what is that big rabbit doing in our yard?
by Dan Brawner Times Columnist · May 4th, 2017

I never understood Easter as a kid. The whole thing made no sense to me.

First of all, there was this very solemn and confusing part about Jesus dying and coming back from the dead. Which meant we all had to dress up in really uncomfortable clothes like ties and shine our shoes and then sit quietly through a long sermon about how we were supposed to feel terribly sad and yet joyful.

Then afterwards, we would have an Easter egg hunt in the yard, looking for eggs decorated in startlingly bright colors no chicken would recognize - and there were a surprising number of them, even though we didn't even raise chickens.

Where did all those eggs (some of which were inexplicably chocolate) come from? Well, from rabbits.

Jesus's resurrection was supposed to be a mystery, so as a kid, I figured rabbits that laid colored eggs - and sometimes candy - probably fit into the puzzle somehow. I could have asked our minister to explain it.

I'm sure he would have been glad to accommodate me, but he always talked so long and was so boring - and the truth is, I wasn't really that interested if it meant I first had to dress up and shine my shoes. So I let it slide.

But now, many years later, just after Easter, there has been this huge rabbit sitting in the middle of our yard. It doesn't do anything all day long. It doesn't move. It just sits there and stares straight ahead. It's creepy. Our normally murderous cat is even afraid of it.

Deep down, I know I must be wrong about this, but I swear it looks like the rabbit is laying eggs.

You know how a chicken will fluff up feathers and grass and junk it finds all around it to make a cozy little nest for itself? That's what this rabbit did. And now, it's like it's guarding it with its life and won't move even when somebody walks by.

The grass is getting long enough that I ought to mow the lawn, but what if the mower sends the rabbit into some kind of protective maternal rage with those big, sharp front teeth clacking furiously up and down like a sewing machine needle?

I wouldn't stand a chance. In the spring, after a long winter, it's not unusual to find strange things in your yard - like soggy parking tickets or a deflated Mylar birthday balloon.

Or the car keys you dropped in the snow that you looked for in that exact spot and they weren't there. But now they are.

I haven't seen any festive-looking Easter eggs hidden in our grass. And when our big rabbit finally decides to get up off her nest, I am not even going to look to see what's under there.

Because some things are meant to remain a mystery.
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