Want to kick off your Easter weekend in the right way? Why not sit down (with an Easter egg or two) and read the second part of our Easter Round Robin by Rhoda Baxter. Yesterday Berni Stevens left us in a little bit of an awkward situation involving a dog and a (talking) bunny. Let’s see where Rhoda takes things!
Remember, if you read right until the end, you might find an Easter competition too
To enjoy this story, make sure you read Part One by Berni Stevens first HERE.
The Easter Bunny – Part Two by Rhoda Baxter
Dan glared at her, and hitched Joshie up a little. ‘Aren’t you going to call it off?’ He nodded towards the dog.
‘All this fuss.’ The woman rolled her eyes. ‘Zaph, come here.’ She slapped her thigh. ‘Heel, boy.’
The dog stopped barking at the rabbit hole and looked reproachfully at her. It slunk back to her side.
‘Good boy.’ She started patting the pockets of the oversized coat she was wearing. ‘I had your lead here somewhere …’
Josh loosened his hold round Dan a little to peer at the dog. ‘It’s okay, Josh,’ said Dan quietly. ‘The dog’s stopped barking now, see.’
‘He scared the rabbit away.’
The woman pulled the lead out of one of the enormous pockets and knelt next to the dog. ‘Oh, they’re used to him. He always chases them, but never, ever catches one,’ she said as she attached the lead to the dog’s collar. ‘You’re not much of a rabbit catcher, are you boy?’ She scratched the dog behind the ears and gave him a kiss.
Dan felt an unexpected pang of envy. Absurd. Still, it had been a long time since anyone had ruffled his hair and kissed him with that much affection. ‘I think it’s safe to get down now, buddy,’ he said to Josh.
Tilly hid her embarrassment by burying her face in Zaph’s fur. She had completely forgotten about the Easter Egg hunt. To be honest, mostly, she forgot what day it was when she was in the library. If it wasn’t for having to take Zaph out a couple of times a day, she’d probably lose track of day and night too.
Just her luck that the first people she ran into were a handsome man and his cynophobic son. She looked at the boy, who was being deposited on the ground by his father. ‘I’m sorry if Zaph scared you,’ she said. ‘He runs around here every day. I forgot it was a public day today, otherwise I’d have had him on his lead.’
The man made a non-committal noise.
‘I’m Tilly, by the way.’ She held out her hand to the little boy first.
He looked surprised, but shook it. ‘I’m Josh. This is my daddy.’
Tilly stood up. Goodness, up close he really was something special. But a member of the public. She had be polite to members of the public. She was sure there had been a rule about that when she’d signed up to work on the project. ‘Pleased to meet you, Josh’s Daddy.’
‘Dan,’ he said. ‘I’m Dan.’ His hand was warm and firm when he shook hers. He had the most amazing blue eyes.
Mustn’t stare. Mustn’t stare. She turned her attention back to Josh. He had the same blue eyes, but it was easier to focus on him. ‘How’s your easter egg hunt going?’
He showed her the card. ‘I’ve found three already. The rabbit there was helping.’
‘Was he now?’ She pretended to look into the rabbit hole.
‘Ah. There was a rabbit we were following,’ said Dan, with a hint of embarrassment. ‘I’m sure it wasn’t the same one each time.’
‘It was Daddy, it was,’ said Josh. ‘He was leading me to the eggs.’
Tilly felt a stab of extra interest. ‘Really?’ Could it be …
‘My son has a very vivid imagination,’ said Dan. He took the boy’s hand. ‘Come on Josh.’
‘Actually,’ said Tilly. ‘There are those who say that these gardens are magical.’
The little boy’s face lit up. ‘Really? Why?’
‘Strange things happen, you know. Things that are lost for years suddenly turn up. Other things disappear.’ Like people. It had been a year to the day since Marv disappeared. That’s what she’d been thinking about when she let Zaph out of the private garden into the main one. That’s why she’d completely failed to register all the bunting that festooned the place. ‘I’m doing some research into the local legends,’ she added.
They walked along following Dan’s map, looking for the next egg.
Oh good, the mutt’s gone. Wonder if it’s safe to come out?
There they go. The woman’s got the dog on a lead. Why does that dog always chase me? It’s not like it’s short of rabbits in this place, but no, it’s always me. I don’t mind the woman though. There’s something about her that’s familiar. Reminds me of someone …
Curiouser and curiouser. Things are starting to get a little bit surreal in our Round Robin and we love it! Can’t wait to see where Kirsty Ferry takes it tomorrow Make sure you’re around to read the next part.
If you enjoyed Rhoda’s writing, you might like to check out her latest award-nominated novel – Girl Having a Ball. Click the image above for more information.
To be in with a chance of winning a Choc Lit book and some chocolate simply answer this question:
What colour are Dan’s eyes?
To enter, send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading ‘Round Robin Rhoda Baxter comp’ by Tuesday 18th April. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Wednesday 19th April.