Easter is nearly upon us and we hope you’re stocked up on chocolate Easter eggs for the long weekend ahead! We felt you deserved one more little treat in addition to the chocolate – so here’s the first part of a special Easter Round Robin story for you to enjoy We have five authors taking part so make sure you come back every day until Monday to read each part of the story!
Today Berni Stevens is starting us off – and if you read right until the end, you might find an Easter competition too
The Easter Bunny – Part One by Berni Stevens
‘Look – it’s the Easter Bunny!’ Excited squeals followed the shouting.
Hey – do I look like the Easter Bunny to you? Yeah, I get it, I am a rabbit, but I’m nothing to do with Easter. I don’t even like chocolate … But I do like living here. It’s posh. Although it’s better when the place is closed to the public. Now the Easter holidays are here, it means kids – everywhere. And noise. I came outside to get some peace and quiet too. Fat chance.
The small boy edged closer to the rabbit who eyed him warily.
‘Do you know where the eggs are?’ he asked.
The rabbit twitched its nose.
Eggs. It’s always about the eggs. If you want to know where they are, it will cost you in carrots. I don’t come cheap.
A harassed-looking man with an unruly mop of brown hair and sparkly blue eyes grabbed the little boy’s hand before he could get any closer to the rabbit.
‘Leave him alone, Joshie,’ he said. ‘He’s wild.’
Wild? I’m furious. Why does everyone always think I know where the eggs are? Just ’cause I’m a rabbit. Actually I do know where they are, I watched the junior staff hide them this morning. But I’m not telling. Nope. Not. Telling.
The boy and the man walked away, the boy continually looking back over his shoulder at the rabbit.
‘Can I have a rabbit?’
Josh knew that usually meant no. He sighed.
‘That rabbit’s so pretty.’
Awww cute kid. Okay, I’ll give you a clue to the first egg …
‘He’s following us,’ Josh whispered, tugging on his father’s hand.
‘It’s probably a different rabbit,’ his father, Dan, replied with a smile. ‘There are loads around.’
Nevertheless Dan couldn’t help glancing back every now and again. It did look like the same rabbit following them. He wished he had a bell on a collar he could put around ‘their’ rabbit’s neck. Like that chocolate bunny off the TV. They’d be able to tell then.
‘Daddy, he’s gone,’ said Josh suddenly, sounding quite upset.
‘Gone to get some lunch I should think,’ said Dan, realising that food sounded like a great idea. ‘Are you hungry Josh?’
‘No. I want to find some eggs.’ Josh looked mutinous. ‘Six eggs.’
Six eggs. Dan frowned. Where was the Easter blooming Bunny when you needed him?
As if on cue, a little rabbit scuttled out from the undergrowth ahead, its white cotton-tail bobbing as it ran up the hill.
‘There he is Daddy. Quick!’
Josh started up the hill after the rabbit, with Dan following behind.
‘It might … be … a … different … rabbit,’ puffed Dan. He should probably get back to the gym sometime, he felt seriously unfit.
The rabbit sat underneath a huge, ancient oak tree, watching their progress up the hill. If Dan didn’t know better, he’d say it looked smug.
Josh reached the rabbit first. ‘Hello, Thumper.’
Actually, the name’s Marvin, but you’re a cute kid. Thumper’s fine.
Josh parted the bluebells growing around the foot of the oak tree.
‘Thumper says there’s an egg here,’ he said in a conspiratorial whisper.
Sure enough, after a few seconds, Josh swooped on a brightly coloured wooden egg with the number one painted on it in fluorescent yellow.
‘Well done Josh. Good work.’
Dan pulled out the Easter Egg Hunt leaflet, ticked the number one on it, and added the location. He watched Josh put the egg back carefully, his round cheeks flushed with excitement.
Who could have guessed how much he’d love hunting for eggs? Although he thought a certain brown rabbit could be most of the attraction.
The rabbit scampered off in another direction with Josh in hot pursuit. Dan did have very long legs, but Josh was only seven years old, and that had to be in his favour. He puffed after his son, feeling relieved when both rabbit and boy came to a halt near the aviary.
Dan’s heart rate had just returned to normal, when Josh held a wooden egg aloft in triumph. He ticked number two on their sheet and watched Josh replace the egg.
The rabbit stayed with them. Everything felt a little surreal.
‘Four more to find,’ announced Josh, eager to be on the move.
You gotta give the little guy kudos. Okay kid – third egg, then I must get back to the Missus. She worries. AAAAGH … DOG!
The rabbit suddenly dived down a burrow, seconds before a border collie skidded to a halt at the entrance. Josh shrieked in terror, and Dan scooped him up in case the dog was dangerous.
‘Zaph! Bad dog!’ A woman’s voice called.
Dan did a double take as the owner of the voice ran over to the dog. Wow. The vision appeared to be in her early thirties, with waist-length corn-coloured hair and eyes the colour of peeled grapes. But she should still be in control of her mutt, no matter how gorgeous she looked.
‘That dog should be on a lead, and muzzled.’ His voice sounded terse.
‘Muzzled?’ Angry green eyes sparked defiantly up at him. ‘Who died and made you the game-keeper?’
Brilliant start from Berni! And is it just us or is the rabbit stealing the show? Rhoda Baxter will be providing us with Part Two tomorrow – don’t miss it!
To be in with a chance of winning a Choc Lit book and some chocolate simply answer this question:
What name does Josh give to the rabbit?
To enter, send your answer to email@example.com with the subject heading ‘Round Robin Berni Stevens comp’ by Tuesday 18th April. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Wednesday 19th April.