[Nameplate] Fair ~ 86°F  
High: 91°F ~ Low: 72°F
Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Youngsters give their take on just how Easter Bunny manages to get that candy

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Emily Palmer and Abi Reese proudly display the eggs they pulled from the basket at St. Francis Xavier Preschool.
SIKESTON - Six-year-old Matthew Price has never seen the Easter bunny, but he knows he exists.

"I know he's real because one day I woke up and saw a whole bunch of different kinds of baskets and I knew the Easter bunny did it," Matthew recalled.

Like Matthew, Natalie Collins, 7, hasn't witnessed the Easter bunny, but she has seen "fake people Easter bunnies dressed up in costumes," she said.

But Ethan Protzel has seen the Easter bunny and gets excited just talking about his experiences. "Sometimes I have lunch with him and he visits me at Easter," Ethan commented.

Of all the symbols of Easter, none is more beloved than the Easter Bunny and none has a more varied, unique and universal background than the floppy-eared chocolate candy delivery man, according to easter-traditions.com.

Cassandra Limbaugh, first grade teacher's aide at St. Francis Xavier School in Sikeston, said in the days prior to Easter, students often ask "Is the Easter bunny real?"

Limbaugh tells them: "Of course he's real. But if you don't believe, it won't happen. You have to believe."

And boy do they believe. From where he lives to how he operates and how old he is, children believe they know everything there is to know about their favorite furry friend.

For example, Ethan, who will be 7 next month, said the Easter bunny lives on Rabbit's Lane, and his wife, Mrs. Bunny helps him deliver Easter baskets, eggs and candy to homes all over the world.

The Easter bunny and Mrs. Bunny are able to visit everyone's houses by driving "a two-bike seat with a motor. That's how he gets there so fast," Ethan explained.

But Natalie thinks the Easter bunny probably has "children bunnies" who help him deliver baskets filled with chocolate candy.

Described as having a fluffy tail and big white ears that are pink in the middle, Ethan said the Easter bunny has magic. "He puts candy in eggs magically so all the yolk is gone," he explained.

Ethan said he thinks the Easter Bunny starts making everything in February. "He disguises himself and goes to the store and buys the candy," Ethan theorized.

Natalie said the Easter bunny is generally nice, but, she warned: "If you get up and don't go to sleep and he sees you coming down the stairs while he's putting candy in your basket, he probably won't come to your house anymore."

And just how old is the rabbit?

"I think he's 49 years old," Ethan said matter of factly and then paused. "But he may be 100 because my dad's 41."

Hunting and dyeing eggs is another fun Easter tradition, the children said. Both parents and the Easter bunny can hide the real or plastic eggs, they agreed.

The Easter bunny is a different symbol for each culture, but for children, the Easter bunny is a huge symbol of candy.

Natalie and Matthew like chocolate bunnies best while Ethan likes to find Sour Punch Straws in his Easter basket although he does receive a chocolate cross each Easter.

Sure there's candy and other fun involved, but it appears children do understand the meaning of the religious holiday. "Easter is when God rose from the dead and whenever the Easter bunny comes to my house," Ethan noted. "It's also a loving time."

Even though Ethan has seen the Easter bunny on several occasions, he hasn't had much of a conversation with him, and Ethan explained why: "He doesn't talk that much, but he does like hugs."