Unlike Santa and the Three Kings, as a child I had no problem believing in the Easter Bunny. I remember having and expressing lots of doubts when it came to the good guys of Xmas. How exactly did they carry all those presents? Did the camels fly, or did they use a helicopter? Didn’t the reindeer get tired? Wouldn’t Santa and the camels develop digestive difficulties, from all those cookies and grass? Why couldn’t we just leave the grass in a pile, with no shoebox? For that matter, why couldn’t the camels just visit the yard and help themselves? And how about the reindeer, why didn’t we leave them grass too? Why did the kings bring brand name plastic toys instead of the famous smelly stuff they brought baby Jesus? What did I have to do to get them all to stop bringing clothes, once and for all? And so forth. The adults in the family gave it up with the Xmas characters and started signing with their own names before I turned eight.
Not so with the Easter Bunny, and his lesser-known relative, the mighty mouse that constitutes the local equivalent of the American tooth fairy. They always made perfect sense. I had no trouble believing that after losing a tooth, and as long as I didn’t yank it out myself, the tooth should be placed under my pillow, to be replaced with some cash by my good friend El Ratón. I cannot remember any arguments coming out of my mouth regarding the logic of a rabbit’s yearly visit, either. Of course El Conejo would come, hide eggs, money and candy, and leave before morning. I could have asked if he carried a (mutant) hen with him, to help with all the egg-laying. I could have inquired after his mode of transportation, his qualifications, or his motives. [BTW, for a funny take on the motives question, see El Ñame’s old post on the Rabbit’s crisis.]
Are kids more accepting of the Easter Bunny, as a concept? Is it truly less complicated to make them believe in this fantastic creature than it is to make them fall for the equally false Xmas characters? I believe it is…but please feel welcome to prove me wrong.
Assuming the conclusion above is true, we need to get to the bottom if this. Why is The Rabbit “easier” on children’s intellect? I have some ideas – but would love to hear yours. Please leave them in the comments. En inglés o en español.