I grew up food insecure. One of our family’s biggest rules was that you couldn’t ‘save’ food for yourself. If it was in the fridge anyone could eat it. This led to an elaborate series of pranks involving hiding treats – like brownies tucked in the vegetable bin – so that no one could find them and eat them before you did. The one exception to this was chocolate Easter bunnies.

No one but you could eat your bunny.

Three chocolate foil wrapped bunnies. The one in the center wears a bow to hide seam where the ears were stolen.
One of these chocolate bunnies is not like the others…

Which started a competition to see who could make their bunny last the longest. Bunnies ended up horded until a child finally finished the last tiny bits, gloating in front of the family whose were long gone. I can still remember the taste of waxy drug store chocolate and smugness. We had no class when it came to candy choices. More was better. Quality was meaningless. Jelly beans and holiday Kit Kats were all well and good, but nothing was better than the last bit of frozen bunny eaten in June in front your sibling.

Which is how the ear-napping started.

a chocolate bunny with the foil delicately cut away from the ears
ear napping – step one

The ears were the most coveted part of the bunny, and one year a pair went missing. Gone. A note left behind proclaimed all bunnies deserved to be liberated from the freezer. Comprised of letters carefully cut out of a magazine with kid’s craft scissors the note heavily implied the ears had been devoured. They hadn’t. Weeks later they appeared again in the freezer, neatly wrapped and untouched, leaving the culprit totally within the letter of the law.

The foil wrapper for the ears has been stuffed with cotton balls dripped with red food coloring. The ears are separate from the rest of the bunny.
The dramatic inside story (apologies for the gore)

The next year the ears were replaced with a note written in cryptic code that turned out to be Microsoft Windings Font. It looked something like this:

Symbols instead of text.

When cell phones brought cheap digital images into our life, we sent photos of bunnies having their ears removed. In our later years, the ears appeared in fancy foil gift boxes.

The chocolate ears tucked into a silver foil gift box for later
Gifted box for later!


Circumstances have changed for my family. Chocolate is no longer hoarded. But the ear theft remains. The pranks getting more elaborate each year. It’s a fun, creepy testament to who we are. Happy Orthodox Easter – I hope any chocolate ears you get are where you left them.