by Oren the Otter
©1999 Eric "Otter" Vary -- all rights reserved
What do you do when the Easter Bunny is non compos mentis and it's time to deliver Easter eggs around the world?
Ina waddled along toward the lake, her young cygnets behind her. Spreading her wings to the warm morning sun, she began gliding across the lake.
On the shore, she spied Violet with her baby son, Patrick. "Good morning!" she said with a smile on her beak.
"Good morning," said the human woman with a sigh.
"You look down," the swan observed. "Is something wrong?"
Violet nodded. "I miss being a rabbit."
Ina nodded. She enjoyed being a swan immensely, but whenever she saw Violet's long face over having to stay in human form, she felt a twinge of guilt.
"I know that having a human mother is vital to Pat's upbringing, but I just wish I could have my fur back again."
Just then, a fluffy little bunny came hopping up beside Violet. "Jerry!" exclaimed the woman. "Hi, Honey!"
Jerry quietly munched clover.
"Jerry?" she repeated.
The rabbit looked up at her but said nothing.
Ina swam up toward the couple. "Jerry?" she said. "Why aren't you answering?"
Jerry Cottontail just continued to eat clover.
"Oh no!" exclaimed the swan. "Jerry's gone feral!"
Ina stared at the pen which held her friend. Every now and then, she ruffled her feathers in agitation. Beside her sat her brother, Ike, who preened his wings almost constantly rather than look at poor Jerry.
Raffi the otter paced about nervously, unconsciously grunting as he went from one end of the room to the other. Jarred, however, merely sat in place and repeated a low, mournful "Baaaaaa!"
Violet busied herself by rocking young Patrick, making herself too busy to think about what had happened to her husband's mind.
"What are we gonna do?" said Raffi as he paced. "What are we gonna do?"
"Maybe he'll come back on his own," Ina offered.
"We have more immediate problems, though. Guys, today is Good Friday! Jerry has to start on his run tomorrow. We're looking at an Easter without an Easter Bunny."
Jarred stopped bleating. He stared at Raffi and told him "Don't say that!"
"I have to say that. Jarred, what do we do if he doesn't recover?"
"He's going to recover!"
"But what if he doesn't?"
"Guys!" Ike cried out. "You're both right. I have faith that he'll get better, but we have to assume that it's going to be after Easter and plan for his absence."
"So what do we do?" Raffi repeated.
"The first thing we do is we contact Jerry's Dad, Peter. He was the original Easter Bunny. He'll know what to do."
"You won't find him," said Violet.
"He's on vacation. Mom said it's his first Easter weekend off in decades and he's going where no one can find him."
"We have to do this ourselves," said Ina.
"Ourselves?" Jarred repeated.
"That's right. We have to make the run in his place. We'll just transform into rabbits and deliver the eggs ourselves."
"Oh, that's good," said Raffi. "In case you haven't noticed, the only one who can transform us is sitting in a wire cage eating... eew! I can't believe he's eating that."
"Peter could do it."
"But Peter is in hiding!"
"Then we'll wear suits!" exclaimed Ike. "We'll dress up in bunny costumes."
"I have to stay and look after Patrick," said Violet. "But I'll watch the cygnets while you're gone, Ina."
"Thank you, Violet."
"All right," said Ike. "The three of you, follow me. We've got some memorizing to do!"
All the rest of that day and that night, the swan, the goose, the otter and the sheep studied and restudied the map of Jerry's route... all over the world.
On Saturday night, they donned four ridiculous-looking bunny suits and dispersed to the six continents.
It wasn't easy. Raffi kept trying to hide eggs under the children's beds. More often than not, he'd wake them, and have to explain that, "Yes, Virginia, there is an Easter otter."
Jarred didn't do much better. It's hard for a sheep to hide eggs when family dogs are chasing him all over creation.
Ike thought he'd use his ability to fly for hours on end to his advantage, but soon discovered that dropping eggs from several feet in the air is not a good delivery system.
As for Ina, she was hesitant to leave her eggs anywhere. Her motherly instinct wouldn't let her.
Despite their problems they made good time, and were able to make it home at three in the morning on Easter Sunday. There they were, huffing and panting and congratulating each other on a job well done as they made their way home. Then, who should appear at the gate but Jerry's father, Peter Cottontail.
"Pete!" exclaimed Raffi. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to see my son off on his first solo run."
"Oh." sighed Ina. "You haven't heard?"
"Oh, Mr. Cottontail... I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but... Jerry's gone feral!"
Peter stared for a moment, as if waiting for further explanation, then went to an expression of embarrassed alarm. "I never told you! Oh gosh, I'm sorry, I can't believe I never told you!"
"Told us what?"
"It's normal. The days before Easter get very stressful, and going feral is like... our way of taking a personal day to get ready. Heck... I used to become a normal rabbit until the last second, which... if I remember right, would be just about..."
Jerry came running out of his house. "Am I late?" he asked in a panic. "Did I miss the run?"
"Jerry!" shouted Ina as she ran to put her wings around the rabbit. "You're back!"
"Actually," said Jarred. "We made the run for you."
"Yeah," Ike added. "And if you leave now, you might just have time to fix it all."
Jerry looked to Peter. "Dad?"
"Well, one more time couldn't hurt," He grabbed up a basket full of eggs from a nearby chicken. "Peter Cottontail rides once more!"
Jerry flashed a smile at him.
"Yeah... Cottontail and Son!"
As the two rabbits bounded off for distant parts of the globe, Raffi put his paws on his friends' shoulders. "My friends, I believe I speak for all of us when I say, 'That was fun'!"
"But let's never do it again."
About the Author
Oren the Otter... The real Oren the Otter, is actually a human named Eric Vary who just looooves otters!
A mild mannered department store clerk by day, at night, he transforms into OTTERMAN, author of transformation stories for the ever popular Transformation Story Archive.
Oren's hobbies include swimming; fishing (without a pole); reading good science fiction stories; collecting Warner Brothers cartoons, Hasbro Transformers, Schwarzenegger movies and comic books; raising raffins (rats); sewing plushies; and of course, hacking at his computer keyboard until unhealthy hours of the night!
Oren is a friendly sort, and just loves to get E-mail from friendly people.