Satisfaction is especially sweet on Easter morning for a six year old with a larcenous heart.
I figured out pretty early on that the Easter Bunny was one of those scams used to manipulate me into behaving and doing extra chores. The weeks leading up to Easter were filled with what I considered hard labor. No one else in the family was willing to let me give up the myth, in spite of my logical protests about the possibility of a rabbit delivering candy to millions of children in one night. So at age six I decided to use that very con to my advantage.
Before anyone else was up on Easter morning I slipped downstairs and made some "adjustments" to the Easter baskets. I left the big chocolate bunnies -- our names were written on those. I didn't care for jelly beans or marshmallow chicks so I generously gave my older brother and sister most of mine. The choice items -- the little chocolate eggs, the malted milk eggs, the chocolate covered eggs and the chocolate covered bunnies, the fruit and nut eggs, the maple eggs and the hard boiled colored eggs -- were redistributed more appropriately with me getting the lion's share, or the bunny's share.
Then I called out "The Easter Bunny came!" Our parents staggered out of bed and into the living room and as usual were almost knocked down by my siblings racing down the stairs. As they entered the room I held up my basket and said "The Easter Bunny must have thought I was really good! Look at all he left me!"
My brother and sister looked at me, jaws dropping. They looked at our mom who pursed her lips and shook her head, signalling them not to say anything. I proceeded to show all I had gotten from the generous Easter Bunny. My brother and sister looked at their slightly less abundant baskets and glared at me. My dad plopped into his chair and muttered something about knowing he would need a drink before the day was over.
"Boy, I wasn't sure if there really was an Easter Bunny, but this proves there is," I said, smiling -- okay, smirking at my siblings.
They couldn't say a word in argument. If they tried to expose my larceny and said they knew I had switched the goodies I could say "How could you know that unless you were there when the baskets were being filled? That proves there's no Easter Bunny!"
They were stumped and seething. I knew it and they knew it and they were mad enough to eat eggshells. Later, when relatives came for dinner I showed off my basket, pointing out how much more I had received than my older siblings. Of course, I was generous and shared by booty with company because I was such a good child, just like the Easter Bunny thought. I savored the comments on how sweet I was -- though not quite as much as I savored the goodies and not nearly as much as I savored the satisfaction of having beaten them all at their own game!
Emily Hart has not gone on to a life of crime, in spite of an early predilection for larceny and the art of the con.
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