Ryder Rabbit Learns What Easter Means
Do you like the spring time?
Do you notice that animals change their fur sometimes, from winter coats to spring coats?
What the heck does that have to do with Easter?
Ryder Rabbit brushed his coat with care and combed out his whiskers.
Ryder was very fussy that morning, very fussy indeed.
It was so unusual for Ryder to care how he looked that Jimmy Skunk, who happened to come down Lone Little Path, paused at the edge of the dear Old Briar-Patch and asked Ryder what he was fixing up so for.
"Why!" cried Ryder in the most surprised way, "Don't you know that this is Easter morning?
I'm getting ready to make my Easter calls.
How do I look?"
Jimmy stepped back and looked Ryder all over as he turned around to show himself off. There wasn't a trace of a smile, though there was a twinkle in his eyes as he said:
"You look very fine, Ryder. Mixed brown and gray is very becoming to you, though I prefer black and white stripes, rather broad, myself.
I see you still wear a white patch on the seat of your pants."
For just a second Ryder's face clouded over.
"Y-e-s." he replied slowly. "You see I have to wear that because it always has been in the family since way back in the days when the world was young. Do – do you think it is so dreadfully unbecoming, Jimmy Skunk?"
Jimmy looked at Ryder's funny little white tail and laughed outright.
"Of course it isn't, Ryder!" he cried. "Why, without it you wouldn't be you. No, Sir, you wouldn't be you at all."
Ryder's face cleared and together he and Jimmy Skunk started down the Lone Little Path across the Green Meadows.
And there Ryder suddenly sat up very straight.
"Look, Jimmy!" he cried. "There's Bubbling Bob the Bobolink. He must have just arrived from the South, and see what a wonderful black and white coat he has, with cap to match!
When he left last fall he had the shabbiest kind of a suit. Just hear him sing!
I believe I could sing too if I had a suit like that."
"Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho!
A great singer you'd make, Ryder Rabbit! A great singer you'd make!"
Ryder turned to find Johnny Chuck laughing at him.
Johnny had on a new suit too.
It was very plain and sober, but Johnny didn't seem to mind this in the least. In fact he didn't seem to think of it at all.
"What are you thinking about clothes for, Ryder Rabbit?" continued Johnny.
"Because its Easter. What else is Easter for?" replied Ryder.
Johnny Chuck scratched his head thoughtfully. "It isn't just to think about clothes: I'm sure of that," said he.
"It's – it's – why, it's to make you glad that you're alive and that summer is coming and that everything is so beautiful and-and that no matter how brown and dead things look they will become more beautiful again, and that:
Joy and love are in the air
All around us everywhere,
And – and to try to make others feel as happy as we do,"
concluded Johnny Chuck.
Ryder kicked his heels together happily.
"I guess you are exactly right, Johnny Chuck," said he, "and I guess our new clothes are to please those who see us, and not ourselves, and so I'm just going to think how nice others look and not worry about myself. Now I must go and wish everybody a happy Easter. Isn't it good to be alive? I feel as if I just love all the world, even Reddy Fox."
Ryder hurried off to make his Easter calls and Johnny Chuck smiled as he watched him.
"I guess Ryder has found out what Easter means," said he.
And Ryder knew that he had.