“WHO’S IN CHARGE AROUND HERE?!” Boomed a loudness that commanded silence.
The giggling fell like a leaf with no wind to a sullen stillness. The children clutched their prizes more firmly for fear they would be taken away from them. Grown-Ups had already taken so much from the little they had.
“I am” strolled a voice with a black silver-tipped cane through the silence. “I am in charge of these children today.”
The loudness recognised the playwright and stared with the disdain of stiff men for the foolish and light hearted. The loudness was an average policeman, of average-policeman weight, with a sturdy hat on a sturdy bald and eggish head. He had cold eyes and was wielding a stick in his controlling hands. The playwright was quite the opposite: an eccentric young man with colourful if classy clothing, a spring in his step and a flourish in his hat -which on this occasion was decorated with two fake rabbit ears and his face was painted accordingly. He always had something up his sleeves and a glint in his eye for a friend. His long hair hung loosely around his ears and near his shoulders and his smile seemed to seep out and infect those around him.
“It’s Easter” spoke the smile, “let the children have a little fun, they aren’t doing any harm.”
The stiff hat wavered then stiffly turned around. “If there is trouble,” he replied “you will be held responsible.” And then he left slowly, as ungracefully as he had come in.
“You know where to find me!” called the rabbit after the retreating soldier.
At that point everyone realised that they had been holding their breath and the space slowly filled with air again. The orphans finished the feast laid out for them then went to sit by the artist one by one, like small birds perching on the same branch, waiting for something extraordinary to happen. As it always did.
A small crowd of old men and pigeons was starting to form on the park benches near them, eager to see this magic at work. The children were so intent on watching the curious man that nobody noticed Mr Murdoch creep up behind with a chicken’s head instead of his own so naturally everyone jumped and snapped around when he spoke.
“My, my, is that the Easter Rabbit I see?” queried the curious specimen, at which point the playwright spun around asking “Where, where?!” provoking a scatter of contagious giggles.
“Ah you mean me!” he exclaimed, “In that case you would be right, I am the Easter Rabbit.” and he bowed and raised his hat, ears with it, eliciting a new round of laughter.
“As it happens” he continued, “I’ve a slight probl-”
“GIVE ME BACK MY EGGS YOU THIEF!!” Screamed the hen. “You stole them!”
“I’m rather inclined to think that you are the thief, stealing all my eggs like that! How can we celebrate Easter?!”
It was working, the children were screaming at them to give the eggs back to the other until the rabbit decided on something:
“Dear me we seem to be surrounded by a crowd! Let’s ask these fine ladies and gentlemen who they think is right!”
The old men smiled imaging them all ladies and gentlemen, laughing and sticking their tongues out.
Soon they had formed two teams: Chicken Team and Team Bunny and they all set off to accomplish ridiculous feats to determine which was best, ending in an epic battle (acted out through a tug of war) between the two sides. Each team fought long and hard (and ridiculously and full-of-laughterly) until no-one could remember what the war was about. By that time the watching crowd had increased by a significant number of mainly old men and, consequently, pigeons.
But suddenly, at the moment of truce, a young and pretty Father Christmas appeared: “Mwahahaha! I stole your eggs! Easter will never be as important as Christmas!” He gloated, “but now your armies are worn out and you will never defeat me!”
And he showed them all his bag full of decorated eggs when both the Easter Rabbit and the Chicken called out in unison “GET THE EGGS!” and started running towards the thief followed by a mob of excited (and some completely clueless) children. Not wanting to get trampled by such a frantic herd he dropped his bag and surrendered and everyone grabbed the chocolate eggs.
“Children! Easter is saved!”
But nobody was listening any more.
Happy birthday Yeahwrite! 🙂
I saw Finding Neverland this weekend with my cousins and it’s a beautiful film, about J.M Barrie and his inspiration for Peter Pan.(it was also the inspiration for this post… that and the fact that it was Easter.) The main actor is Johnny Depp and he is on my list of “The few actors whose names I know and who I can call a good actor” and that list is not very long (partly because of my uncultivated-ness, partly because of the lack of real acting talent I see), so that in itself would be a good reason to watch it but it also happens to be an amazing film 😀