Easter treat bandit still on the loose

Published 7:06 pm Saturday, April 3, 2010

I would like to report the mutilation of a chocolate, caramel-filled Easter bunny.

Recently I received a package with a harmless, gentle chocolate bunny, conspicuously wrapped in a box. What was intended to look like a normal, bought-at-the-grocery-story treat now resembled a murder scene at the back of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

The package, hastily wrapped with tape, contained a bunny with one ear missing, exposing its caramel innards.

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I would love to report this to be an isolated incident, but, unfortunately, it is a pattern nearly 30 years in the making.

This all started growing up and reveling in the excitement of Easter morning. The sleepless night of wondering what the Easter Bunny would bring led to an early morning of running to the living room.

There, I would find this treat or that treat, this little gift or that. But each time I would discover a portion of a treat missing. It could be a bite mark left in a piece of chocolate or the bag of jelly beans already opened and some of the contents already gone.

I wondered if the Easter Bunny believed in a fair tax system where an equal portion of the treats was equally taxed each year, but my sister’s basket always seemed intact.

As I grew older and moved away from home, the Easter Bunny arranged to have such treats and surprises sent to wherever I was living a few days ahead of Easter Sunday.

But again, each year, a portion would be missing.

But, as I inch closer to 40 I have started to narrow down the culprits behind the malicious woundings.

I have removed such suspects as my wife, my mother and the Easter Bunny. All are far too gentle and sweet to play a part in such a thing.

That leaves the following: The Tooth Fairy, Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog (have you seen his teeth), the monsters under my bed and in my closet from my childhood, the monsters under my bed currently, Roger Rabbit (he deserves framing again) or my father.

The last person on that list you would feel would be the most likely the culprit, but he regularly denies involvement. And, if you can’t trust your father, who can you trust?

So this morning, I will pull the caramel-filled chocolate bunny out to enjoy, I will again look for evidence that may help narrow my list of suspects even more.