Ollie and the Easter Bunny
One fine spring when Ollie turned ten he hopped and skipped then ran to his favorite spot by a pond near his home. Reaching it's tranquil waters he sat down and began to ponder. His tenth birthday had raised questions he did not have the answer to. For instance, why did his mother cry when he blew out his birthday candles and cry out how it only seemed yesterday when he had been only a baby in her arms? Didn't she want him to grow up? As he was lost in his revelry he became aware that he was not alone. Looking behind him he saw the most unusual sight he had ever seen; there in full sight sat what had to be the Easter Bunny! The bunny was white except for his cute nose and the insides of his ears. He wore a vest made up of patches of pastel colored cloth. Startled Ollie began to get up but the Easter Bunny sat back on his haunches making Ollie feel more secure. After all, he really didn't think he could outrun a rabbit.
"Greetings!" the bunny suddenly shouted out.
"Are you...?" spoke Ollie in a quivering voice.
"Indeed I am. I am the Easter Bunny." Seeing Ollie's surprised face the bunny laughed a throaty almost hoarse laugh and twitched his nose in a most peculiar fashion. "Don't be afraid Ollie. I won't hurt you."
The boy was beside himself. "How do you know my name?"
The Easter Bunny moved slowly closer to Ollie as to not spook him. "I know all the girls and boys by name."
Ollie began to believe he was dreaming. Sure that was it, he had come to his favorite spot and quickly fallen asleep. With that thought decided he turned away from the bunny.
The Easter Bunny hopped around to the front of the child not wishing to end their conversation just yet. "Do you know why I am here?" he asked.
"Go away!" Ollie closed his eyes very tightly, "I wish you to go away!"
When he opened his eyes the rabbit was still where he had seen him last.
The rabbit thought the boys effort at wishing him away was very quaint but did not laugh this time. "So you still believe in magic, that's good because I myself am magic. You see this time of year when men of good conscious celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ I receive the magic to make children everywhere happy by giving them Easter goodies." Ollie had never been to Sunday School or Church and didn't understand what the bunny was talking about.
The Easter Bunny understood the boys dilemma. Many of the children he catered to had never heard of Jesus the Christ. Lying down in the cool grass before Ollie he looked at the boy for a few moments contemplating what to say to help him to understand. Then he came up with an idea.
"Ollie, I have a very important stop to make on my way to pick up my Easter eggs. Are you up for an adventure? I promise to have you back safe and sound by dinner time."
The ten year old thought a moment and then decided. Yes, he wanted to see the Easter Bunny in action. "Sure, let's go!" he said standing.
The bunny began to hop away with Ollie running close on his heals. They went quite a ways, as measured by a small child, until they came to a small chapel. "I come here every year on the day before Easter." stated the rabbit. "Come inside with me."
Now Ollie did know what a church was but this one appeared to be special. It was quite small, his head clearing the ceiling by only a few inches. Once inside Ollie looked about him. Surrounding the sanctuary were elegant stained glass windows showing scenes of a story unknown to Ollie. After looking about he spied the rabbit at the other end of the church kneeling before a tiny wooden cross set up on a pedestal. Sensing that this was a special place the normally high spirited child approached the kneeling bunny silently and fell down on his knees beside him.
"Do you know why I am kneeling Ollie?" the rabbit asked with just a hint of sorrow in his voice.
"No, I gotta say I'm lost!"
The bunny looked at the boy with tears in his eyes. "This cross represents the reason I exist. Without the cross there would be no Easter Bunny to deliver brightly colored eggs to the children of the earth." Seeing the confusion in the boys eyes he continued. "Have you ever felt guilty because you did something wrong?"
Ollie had to admit he did. In fact his being so far away from home with a total stranger was beginning to worry him. He had done wrong and his conscious was indeed bothering him. He nodded his head.
"That is God speaking into your heart urging you to do what is right instead of what is wrong. Long ago God came to earth as a man and did great good deeds for all the people to see. However there is evil in the world Ollie and he was murdered."
Ollie felt his stomach tie up in knots. "How did he die?"
The rabbit turned again to the small wooden cross. "He died a hideous death nailed to a cross something like this one."
The boy felt something tugging at his heart and a tear began to stream down his cheek. What was happening to him? "I feel so much guilt rabbit." he sobbed. "Make it go away."
The Easter Bunny placed his paw on top of Ollie's hand. "The only one who can take away your guilt Ollie is Jesus. You see He is the one who was murdered long years ago. He wants to wash your guilt away."
"How can a dead man wash away my guilt?" asked Ollie truly confounded by the rabbits words.
"He didn't stay dead Ollie! That's the beauty of the story! They killed Him but He came to life again! Tomorrow when I deliver all the candy coated eggs and the chocolate bunnies I'll do so with my heart washed clean by the love of the one who died to remove my guilt from me."
Sudden understanding filled Ollie's soul. He remembered a story his grandmother had once told him about a man who healed the sick and made blind men see. Could this be the same man? It had to be, he concluded.
"How do I go about getting my guilt washed away?"
The rabbit reverently answered, "You must ask Jesus to forgive you of all your wrong doings and ask Him to come live with you in your heart then you will be clean as a whistle!" at the word whistle the rabbit actually did.
Still kneeling before the cross Ollie prayed and asked Jesus to come into his heart. Suddenly he wanted to do good. "I've got to go home rabbit. Thank you."
The rabbit looked up at his new brother and stated simply, "Hey, what's an Easter Bunny for."