Palm Sunday, a religious holiday, just happens to be the week before Easter when the Easter Bunny had been known to show up at our house. On Palm Sundays, everyone returning from Catholic mass carried a handful of cut palm leaves. I didn’t know at the time that palms didn’t grow anywhere near Detroit? Of course, since we were four or five years old, my cousin Danny and I looked forward to Easter Sundays, and it was for all the right reasons; sugar mostly, and lots of it. We could smell it out and often did.
Easter Bunny Cometh
Sharing the attic with our Aunt Inez was fun, she slept just a few feet away, and it proved to be especially convenient. There were some cardboard wardrobes that divided our sleeping areas and they were known to be a hiding place for stuff. So when the fresh palms appeared downstairs, tucked in behind a crucifix which hung above my parent’s bed, we knew then it was time to start sniffing around.
We had it all figured out. The year before we’d watched through the heating vent from the attic, which was conveniently located directly beneath the head of our bed. There was no headboard, so all we had to do was lean over and spy on the happenings downstairs. Danny and I learned a lot from that vantage point… some of the words spoken, for example, couldn’t be taught in school. It turns out there was more than one Easter Bunny and we liked watching them hide the eggs on the Saturday night before Easter.
Normally, on Sunday mornings, we would venture downstairs before anyone was awake and go out onto the front porch and get the Sunday paper. Back then, during the 1940’s, the newspaper portion was located inside the comic section. The Sunday comics were the main event for us, we weren’t into reading much then anyhow, except for a little Jack and Jill now and then. We would then turn on the radio at 8 o’clock and listen to a Sunday morning radio show, that read the comics to us out loud (this was back before television took control of our imaginations). You needed to pay the strictest attention because there were no repeats and no instant replays. The very last comic read was always Prince Valiant, my favorite. I loved the pictures and didn’t really realize why until much later, the cartoons were more realistic looking because they were illustrated. And the best part was, Prince Valiant took up most of the back page.
It wasn’t unusual for Danny and me to spend time in the attic during the day, our toy box was located there… at the head of the stairs. One day about mid-week, right after Palm Sunday, we detected that familiar smell and realized “Easter sugar is in the house!” Jelly beans, marshmallow chickens, candy corn, plastic grass in baskets wrapped in cellophane, all mixed together have a distinct aroma. Once you have feasted on raw meat you lock away the scent, never to forget it’s meaning. It was CANDY, RAW CANDY! So, we began our hunt for Easter. It was a very small attic and so it didn’t take us long. First we checked under Aunt Inez’s bed… there was nothing there. The cardboard wardrobe was next, it was loaded with shoes stacked in the bottom and there, back in behind some hanging winter coats, we found just what we were looking for, “two Easter Baskets.” As you might expect we had to take samples. We even took out the chocolate bunnies and bit off an ear or two before putting them back. By the end of the week, addicted to Easter and all sampled out, we finally realized that “We, might be in big trouble?”
On Saturday night, we again watched the Easter Bunnies work their magic. The following morning we were very surprised to find quarters and half dollars taped to some of the eggs, and there at the top of the front hall closet sat our Easter Baskets, which to our surprise, had been refortified. Easter Bunnies work in very strange ways.
Thank you Aunt Inez.