My wife texted me shortly after she left for her walk to work. “We have a rabbit.”
I knew she didn’t mean that we had acquired a bunny, I don’t want pets in our apartment, but rather that she had seen one. I didn’t find that surprising. Her walk takes her through the vineyards. I haven’t seen much wildlife on our walks there, but we have seen deer, so why not a rabbit?
Being funny, and knowing that it will soon be Easter, I texted her back with the words: “Hopefully chocolate.” I knew it wasn’t likely; I’m never that fortunate.
I was right. Her response came back with “Black Forest = wood.” I was confused. A wooden rabbit? Was this a Monty Python sketch in southern Germany? We we being invaded?
Later I too saw the rabbit, which it turns out was not in the vineyards as I had assumed but in the market square. It was holding a basket containing one plastic egg. Indeed, the Easter bunny has apparently come early to Sulzburg.
I’m sure it is all meant in fun. After all, everyone knows rabbits don’t lay eggs and have nothing to do with Easter. I doubt municipal officials want to put up a cross, which would perhaps be more theologically appropriate. While I would love to see a depiction of an empty tomb, that’s probably too much for them. After all, there was a Christmas tree in the same spot in December, but no nativity scene.
I hadn’t given much thought to the public display of Easter. We don’t do much of that in Canada (laying aside the commercialism, which is not a government initiative). I don’t remember any Easter displays on public land, bunny-like or otherwise. I’m wondering what else, if anything, will be added to the display over the next few weeks. More eggs perhaps. Probably nothing that would point to the true meaning of Easter, the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Maybe I’m wrong. This is a very religious area of Germany. As I have previously noted the school holidays are religious ones (the kids get two weeks off for Pentecost!) and maybe there will be some civic recognition of Easter that goes beyond a brown bunny.
I’m living in a dream world, aren’t I?