5. Mounting Frustrations
Your typical rabbit—if asked and capable of giving intelligible reply—would choose a temperate habitat, an ideal mix of grassland and woodland, affording plenty of good grazing in tandem with dry, quickly accessible cover. But the Easter Bunny was not your typical rabbit, neither in size, nor in longevity, nor in his taste in living arrangements.
Save for Easter Eve and his nocturnal prowlings at bedroom windows, the Easter Bunny kept almost exclusively to his burrow, as dark and dank a hole in the ground as his Easter leavings were light and airy. He was there now, some six months after watching Santa betray his wife with the Tooth Fairy. Through the dimness of the low archway that separated Petunia’s sleeping quarters from his, the metallic gleam of her eyes peered back at him.
“I know, I know, dearest,” he said in answer to her weary look. “It’s the end of October and I’ve been going on and on about this since April. So maybe you’re right, maybe I am just a teensy bit obsessed. But God bless the jolly old bastard, Petunia, it isn’t fair. The simpering Coke-drinker’s got two mates, one for his lust, one for his love. I’m not even going to mention the countless copulatrixes he no doubt encounters on his rounds, wanton flibbertigibbets with too much eggnog in their noggins, waiting undraped by their fireplaces and dangling sprigs of mistletoe from their bellybuttons; I’m not even going to mention them. Let’s confine ourselves, for the sake of my sanity, to the ones I know about. My point is, Santa’s got two luscious ladies and I’ve got nobody.”
Mistake. He glanced in at her and immediately wished he hadn’t been so blunt. “Sorry, dearest. But we’ve been over this before. I love you, indeed I do. You’re a good listener, you’re compliant, you don’t eat much, and you’re no small consolation in a pinch. But let’s face it, love, you just don’t have what it takes when it comes to getting down and dirty. Both of us know that, though we like to pretend otherwise. I’m not blaming you, sweetheart. That’s just the way things are.”
No sense in being subtle. He squinted at her through the dimness. Clever little creature. If he didn’t know better, he’d swear she was weeping. Fine, that was just hunky-dory with him. But if she was going to sulk about it, she could damn well sulk in private. Let her cry all the crocodile tears she wanted. “I’m off to survey my domain, Petunia,” he said, trying to keep the anger out of his voice, “to look in perchance on the poultry.” Now there were some females who knew how to move it. Petunia could do worse than take lessons.
If the archway had boasted a door, the Easter Bunny would have slammed it. Instead he turned tail, skritched some loose dirt in her direction with his back claws, and dashed from his quarters into the exercise area. There, with all the embittered zeal of one who works at having fun, he ran to and fro in the wide expanse of darkness, stopping on occasion to gnaw on scraps of bark or throw himself down and roll in the dirt, then leaping up again to resume his mad career about the perimeter. When he’d had enough, he sat in the dead middle and thrust his huge ears up to catch and amplify the burrow’s activity.
Dull. Boring. Downright soporific.
His eyes pinched with envy. He pictured the North Pole as a place rich in sound: the prancing and snorting of reindeer; the shouts and laughter of elves at work and play; the chill night wind whistling in the chimney; the feathering of snow upon snow; the honeyed voice of Anya calling her husband home to supper; and then . . . the sounds of the bedroom. No! He pressed his paws to his temples and clamped his eyelids shut, refusing to upset himself again with that.
But here in his burrow, what sort of soundscape greeted him? From the sleeping quarters on the right, the sound of worms eating earth, of straw settling, of Petunia in silent pout. Ahead of him, where motes of dust drifted in the dim tunnel leading upward, the faint buzz of forest life, too far removed to distinguish its strands. At his back, the rhythmic weave and tumble of baskets being assembled, the gush and cut of colored grass, the counting-house clatter of jelly beans spilling into bins and hoppers, the dull hum of row upon row of candy-making machines: all of it set in motion by the Creator on the day He had made him the Easter Bunny, running unattended since.
And to his left, the sounds of the laying house.
The distant brooding of innumerable hens. That was the first sound that fired his ears when God created him. Crouched upon this very spot, his eyes not yet opened, he heard God resume a thought, speaking above a comforting wash of hen-sound.
“This burrow shall be your home, a place of rest and solace. And men shall call you the Easter Bunny . . .”
His lids opened to effulgent light. His eyes were bathed in blessedness. He knew that, moments before, he had been something other than what he was, a scaly thing, a thing of wind and bruises, a brutish sinuosity inlaid with pride, a reveler in . . . in what? The otherness slipped away faster than he could grasp it. Pure Easter Bunny filled the gaps.
“After the New Zealand White, a feisty breed and fair, have I modeled you. Yet, though your natural bent be rabbitlike, I have given you the stature and speech of men . . .”
He leaped joyously into the air, feeling the surge of immortality in his veins. About his new-created home he flew, pausing to groom his coat or lie on his side in the straw with his hind legs stretched to their limit.
God laughed, a sound that made him weep with ecstasy. Then God walked with him, blessing with His presence every inch of the burrow. He enlightened room after room: the living quarters; the ever-replenishing food supply; the machines that ran by themselves; the exercise area; and, flinging back its doors, the laying house.
How easily impressed he had been then, he thought, slipping in now to observe the production of eggs. When he first beheld these thousands of hens, roosted tier upon tier, easing multicolored eggs from their nether regions, he had nearly fainted in awe.
But now, all that splendor looked prosaic and washed out. Not nearly as impressive as Santa’s setup, he brooded. God’s favorite saint had engaging elves to enliven his workshop with conversation and antics, a more opulent patch of real estate, and far greater freedom to vary his product lines.
Then there was the question of who, or what, he had been before God had stolen away his memories and awakened him in this burrow.
Since April, the Easter Bunny had come to suspect that in all probability he had once been very important in the scheme of things; that just maybe he, and not God, had created the universe; that God—Whoever He really was—had filched his memories and now forced him to slave eternally in the bowels of the earth. Hurt feelings were not out of place, that much was clear.
He glared at the endless ovoids of color rolling and rumping along narrow troughs, at the gaping back fluff of countless hens, at the confused, quirky heads of Leghorns and Wyandottes, Dorkings and Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks and Jersey Black Giants, Rhode Island Reds and Whites. At times he loved these creatures very much. But now, in the gloom of envy and resentment, they seemed little more than cogs in a machine.
Sometimes the fetid chicken-stench disgusted him. Sometimes it soothed him. And sometimes it turned him on. Even now, despite the depths of his emptiness, the close air and the seductive knock-and-roll of eggs brought his groin to life. He became aware of his testicles filling their scrotal purse. The vision of a dozing white-haired woman, a woman whose beauty made his heart hurt, floated among the feathers in the air before him.
No! Why waste time thinking about her? Anya was unattainable, a pointless fantasy.
Who then? He had tried one of the Leghorns once. Snatching her one night from the bottom tier, he had carried her through the exercise area into his quarters. A sorry farce, that. Grunting low in his nose, he’d made to mount her. But she kept flapping out from under him. Despite the mismatch of parts, he tried time and again to jam himself into her. But whenever the tiniest bit of dicktip began to wedge its way upward, another emergent Easter egg would push it out. At last he released her in disgust, watched her meander back to the laying house—dropping eggs of red and green and orange as she went—and proceeded to lick himself all the way off.
Once, just once, he had tried a human female. Twenty years before, this eager young doe sat cross-legged on her mattress sucking dark-blue blotter squares with her boyfriend. Through the window of some dreary old brick dorm in Ithaca, New York, he had watched them. Before long, they were saying and doing odd things and laughing a lot over very little. His head buzzed with warm, fuzzy bees, his penis began to straighten up and poke out, and he found himself suddenly feeling amorous toward the young lady, very amorous indeed. After more inane jabber, the humans stripped, she opened herself up on the bed, her boyfriend wiggled into her and spent himself—”Cosmic!” he kept wowing—then he stumbled into the hallway looking for the john while she lay sprawled on the bed, one arm flung over her forehead and an endless string of feathery moans issuing from her lips.
He’d been overcome by the mood of the moment, knowing it was foolhardy in the extreme (not in the least like his customary meek and mild self) and not caring one whit for the consequences. Passing through the window, he stole across the scuffed linoleum to the door and eased its lock shut. When, still invisible, he lowered his furry bulk onto her, she instinctively wrapped her legs around him. She had her eyes closed. A huge grin swam on the surface of her face. His back claws digging holes in her sheets, he gently licked her forehead, poised to thrust into her.
Then everything went wrong. Her stoned mate began to mewl in the hallway, jiggling the doorknob. When her hand brushed against his wet, quivering nose, she snapped open her eyes and discovered that she seemed to be embracing air only. She began to whimper and struggle. Worse than that, in the throes of impending orgasm, he lost his hold on invisibility. When he materialized—all three hundred pounds of him chittering and dripping like some Wonderland nightmare—she paid out scream after scream, plastering the walls with them. He leaped from the bed and zoomed about the room, displacing desks and chairs, bunching up throw rugs, and upsetting metal wastebaskets. Then he vanished through the window.
For weeks on end, he had cowered in his quarters, hearing nothing but screams. He lived in dread of a visit from God that never came. His heart shuddered to recall that time. He never found out what became of her, nor did he want to know. No, he wasn’t about to attempt a human female any time soon.
Visions of Anya rekindled inside him. Dear sainted wife of a saint, betrayed in her own bed while she slept. If only there were some way to wrest her from Santa Claus, if only she would consent to live with him here in his burrow, go down on all fours, spread wide her knees, and graciously beg the inthrust of his bunnyhood.
“Wait,” he said. A Wyandotte in mid-lay craned its neck around and blinked at him. “Who do you think you’re staring at?” The hen turned away, looking perturbed, and laid a chartreuse egg. “Stupid chicken,” he muttered.
Of course. There was nothing to stop him from paying a visit to the North Pole right now. Fairy-fornicator’d be in his workshop this time of day. He would hop boldly up the cottage steps, rap once, accept Anya’s kind invitation to enter, and tell her—haltingly and with much feigned regret—what he had witnessed. Perfect. Expose the big blowhard, put Anya ever in his debt, then whisk her away, assuming she would have him.
Ah but that was pure fantasy. She would never have him, never love him as he loved her.
He would bring flowers. Peonies were nice. Perhaps mums or snapdragons on the side. He pictured his precious Anya puttering about the burrow, bringing a woman’s touch to it, making it more appealing. She would sidle up to him here in the laying house, stroke his ears or playfully twist his tail as they watched the hens, then go with him hand in paw, her eyes demurely downturned, to their quarters.
His back foot thumped excitedly on the ground.
Abruptly he stopped. His face twisted into a scowl. Bad plan. What proof could he offer of Santa’s treachery? Who would believe his word against the word of Santa Claus? No one. Certainly not Santa’s wife.
Envy lit a cauldron in his belly. He wanted to boil that fat little goody-twoshoes in it, singe his whiskers, make his balls swell and burst. God had made Santa Claus almost a god himself. He’d given him a winning smile, a wry wink, and an outsized erection. He’d set him atop the world and tied him to the birth of Christ. And who did he stick with the death of Christ? Oh sure, he knew, all of that culminated in the resurrection. But let’s face it, for pure appeal, no empty tomb, no death-defying corpse with a pierced side and wounded hands and feet, could hold a candle to Baby Jesus in the manger. What else had God given him? One lousy burrow, one huge bunny body, one night’s horrendous delivery schedule each year. And one raging confluence of hormones. No mate to share his love with, no stimulating companions of any kind to keep him from going crazy, and nothing to do during the rest of the year but peep in at bedroom windows.
Nothing to do . . . but peep in . . . at bedroom windows.
Watch Santa Claus fuck the Tooth Fairy.
Rouse the lovely Anya from oblivion.
Yes! He sprang six feet in the air, provoking a startled flurry of wings in the lower tiers. He dashed out into the exercise area and rolled back and forth in the dry earth, chittering wildly.
That’s what he’d do. He’d camp out at the North Pole. He’d watch Santa sleep, all night, every night, studying his every toss and turn. And when he winked his lickerish eyes open, peeled back his blankets, and stole from his sleeping wife, there’d be invisible bunny paws following right behind him, tracking him right to that little love-nest the two of them had joked about. The rest was easy. Draw Anya into magic time, lead her to the hut, and stand beside her watching her husband’s elfhood slide in and out of fairy flesh.
Goodbye Santa, hello Easter Bunny. That’s what Anya would say. Then he’d have her. He’d have something that used to belong to jolly old Saint Nick. He’d have Santa’s ex-wife. But would she love him? Would she have him? Oh yes, she would, she would! He scampered excitedly around the perimeter, drawing the thick woodsy air deep down into his lungs. Then he scurried into his quarters and poked his head around the archway.
“Petunia honey, I’ve got to have you now!” he said. She gleamed back at him like sex absolute. As usual, all was forgiven, they loved one another so. He hopped toward her, doing his best to hide the vision he was conjuring of Anya in his mind, a vision so vivid he was certain it splashed across the twin screens of his pupils. Not that he could fool dear Petunia, who knew of course his every mood and desire. Things just worked out better if they pretended they felt something genuine for each other.
Nuzzling her gently, he licked her about the neck and ears and forehead. She tasted so-so. No, wait. He shut his eyes and now it was Anya’s forehead, wise with age and smelling as close and rich as a smooth block of cedar. He lingered there, exuding droplets of scent from the glands on his chin, letting them moisten her.
Time to move behind her. Turned on though he was, he paused to admire her great brown tail. There it was, upthrust and fluffed out above her lovehole. That tail had taken him months to get right, months more to perfect so that it would enhance their lovemaking.
He placed his front paws on her shoulders, readying himself to mount her. His left paw drew back sharply as though shocked. She was cold there. He saw, beneath her shoulderblade, the naked gleam of wire winking at him.
“Easily fixed, my girl,” he said. Swiftly he bent his head between his legs, everted his anus, and voided a soft pellet into his mouth. Righting himself, he worked it flat with tongue and saliva and smoothed it into the upper edge of Petunia’s wound. Instinctively he licked his mouth clean. Then down he dipped again. Up he came and jawed a second pellet into paste, working patiently at his mate’s repair. It took thirty pellets to patch her up, but she looked grand when he was finished.
Now for his reward.
He ran in circles about her and pretended she was doing the same. What a dark beauty she was, all in all. There she crouched, hindquarters lifted, her chest and forelegs pressed eternally to the ground. He pawed away the dimness that separated them, mounted sweet Petunia, and closed his eyes to replace her with Anya.
It was Anya under him. It was dear white-haired Anya at his service, taking his bunnyhood inside her holy body and gasping thank-you’s at every thrust. Upon her perfect back he drooled, imagining his dribble stepping down her skintight old-lady vertebrae one by one.
And then the great need came upon him.
In an instant, all thought dispersed. A chaos of feelings swept together and tightened into joy. And the buildup that could build no higher reached up one final inch and trembled there, poised to topple. With a thrust so vehement it brought his back feet off the ground, the Easter Bunny shot Anya full of seed and toppled over on his side, chittering and snorting in a delirium of joy.
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