I was raised in a Baptist church and spent the first eighteen years of my life a member. Ever since I can remember, myself and my brother always knew our Christmas gifts came from our parents and Easter was more about the leg of lamb, than a magical rabbit. In my home growing up, Easter was about celebrating the death and miraculous resurrection of Jesus.
Because of this, when I do think of Easter, I don’t think of a wildly generous bunny rabbit who leaves special baskets for children, filled with toys and candy …
I think of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, even today.
He snuck into the vegetable garden and ate himself sick to his stomach on carrots. When he goes looking for parsley to calm his aching belly, he is found by the garden’s owner. When he tries to escape, he loses his baby blue jacket and his shoes. When he’s found hiding in a watering can, he has to make another great escape and has to Houdini his way past a cat.
After difficulty making his way beneath a gate and out of the garden, he finds his clothing on a scarecrow. When he returned home, he was dosed with chamomile tea by his mother.
The story’s author, Beatrix Potter, was born in London on July the twenty eighth in the year 1866. It wouldn’t be until the year 1893 that she would begin writing her Peter Rabbit stories in picture letters. She wouldn’t have The Tale of Peter Rabbit published with illustrations, privately until 1901. And in 1902, it was commercially published for the world by Frederick Warne & Co.
Beatrix was also an accomplished artist, having being given art lessons as a child and she was awarded an Art Student’s Certificate for Model Drawing and Freehand. This came in handy as she was able to do her own illustrating.
She went on to publish several more stories, including some of your favorite characters; Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddleduck, Tom Kitten, and Mr. Tod to name a few.
In 2012, on the 110th Anniversary of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Oscar winning Actress and Screenwriter, Emma Thompson celebrated by publishing The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit. A brand new Peter Rabbit story written by the actress herself!
The way I see Peter Rabbit, he’s MY Easter Bunny. I remember reading his stories and having them shown on TV as a cartoon from when I was a small child. He was always very popular whenever spring rolled around. You would see more of him during that season than any other, anywhere. I have always thought he was the most adorable and squeezable rabbit there was.
I always still look for him when all of the Easter supplies start coming out on the shelves in stores, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to find much of anything. There will be baskets in every shape and color, every color grass, including the edible kind. There will be all kinds of ridiculous diabetic coma inducing candy, not to mention the plethora of chocolate rabbits. Through the maddening sea of colorful insanity, the most Peter Rabbit anything I’ll find is a coloring book. I have some collectible pieces that I’ve accumulated over the years, but I’m always looking for something I don’t yet have.
Even though I never had an Easter Basket growing up, my mom was always good for stocking up on Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Eggs, Cadbury Crème Eggs, Peeps, and Chocolate Truffles. Because of her, I never really missed out on much when it came to the spring holiday.
My grandma always cooked a leg of lamb and there were whatever sides her and my mom made. We always had a holiday variety dessert spread; a cake, a couple of pies, and Cool Whip. Maybe there were cookies or brownies, too. We always dyed eggs every year, it was a family tradition and we still do it with my niece. I make her the Easter Baskets I never got as a kid and vicariously experience that through her. It’s fun to watch her pull it apart and see everything she got.
Even still, watching my niece, I don’t envy her. I don’t watch her and wish I had the baskets I put so much time and energy into. How could I feel this way, you ask?
Because I had Peter Rabbit …