How the Easter bunny came to Warburg—a tale of new friends

Do you know where the Easter bunny lives? On Desenberg hill in the German town of Warburg. And this is the story of how he chose his home. A young rabbit called Maxi came from a big family of Easter bunnies. He was desperate to become an Easter bunny, just like his parents. So, together with his older brothers and sisters, he studied hard at Easter bunny school. He was at the top of the class when it came to painting Easter eggs, and he always thought of the best places to hide them. But despite this, he sat at home one afternoon feeling sad, with his long bunny ears drooping down. “What’s wrong, Maxi?” asked his father. “I’m too scared to hop through the forest and over the fields all by myself,” said Maxi, sobbing. “What if I get lost or a fox steals my eggs? Then I’ll have nothing to put out for the children, and everyone will be terribly disappointed in me!” Maxi’s nose quivered and his ears drooped even lower over his little shoulders: “I’ll never pass the big Easter bunny exam.” But Maxi’s father was a very experienced Easter bunny and knew what to do. “Don’t worry, Maxi,” he said to his son, reassuringly. “I’ve got an idea. Go to Warburg! The people there love Easter, and you can always ask for help. It’ll be the perfect way to prepare for your Easter bunny exam.”

All the time, the children’s voices were getting closer ... Then, a girl with sweet bobbing pigtails and a little boy came around the corner. “Look, Theo!” cried out the girl in surprise. “The Easter bunny is sitting over there!” Theo stared open-mouthed—then he and his sister, Sophie, noticed the broken eggs. “Oh dear, did you fall over?” asked Theo, sympathetically. “Yes,” sobbed Maxi, “and now all of my Easter eggs are ruined. Where can I possibly get new ones before tomorrow morning? Easter can’t be cancelled.” Sophie and Theo looked at each other seriously for a moment. Then they both smiled. “No problem! Our parents work in the big egg dye workshop here in Warburg. Everyone there will be happy to help. We’ll dye new eggs for you together,” said Theo to cheer up the little bunny. “And we’ll get the eggs from the farmyard. Emma the cheeky hen lives there with her friends—we got to know them on a school trip,” added Sophie.

And so, the little Easter bunny decided to stay with his new friends in Warburg. He moved into a cosy burrow under the big castle ruins on Desenberg hill and has lived there ever since. This is where he paints his Easter eggs before hopping out to hide the colourful treats for children to find. Of course, Sophie and Theo visit him often, and they have lots of fun together—with Maxi patiently answering the many questions they always have for him.

Theo and Sophie have arranged to meet Maxi the Easter bunny. They want to find out more about his job. They meet their friend on Desenberg hill and look for a sunny spot in the meadow. The Easter bunny is glad to take a little break, because he’s always got so much to do before Easter.

So, Maxi, how do you get to be an Easter bunny?

It’s a long-standing tradition in my family. My father, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather were all Easter bunnies—and my great-great-grandfather was probably one too. To become an Easter bunny, I had to study a lot and pass the big Easter bunny exam.

In some places, even a fox did my job for a little while. Unfortunately, he didn’t leave many eggs for the children and he was sacked. Storks and cuckoos applied for the position too, but the birds weren’t as good at carrying the baskets. So, the job fell to the rabbits to distribute the Easter eggs to the children. And to be honest, hardly anyone remembers the others now.

How do you manage to paint so many eggs in time for Easter?

I don’t do it all by myself. I have lots of bunny colleagues to assist with the work as well as the people in the egg dye workshop. Many children and their parents help me too by dyeing and painting Easter eggs at home. This way, I always have enough colourful eggs for everyone!

Where do you get the amazing colours for the Easter eggs?

Here in Warburg there’s a real egg dye workshop. They make all the colours you can imagine. These colours are bright, vibrant, or glittering–some with gold and silver–and there are great accessories for decorating eggs too.

How do you find all the hiding places? Do you have a satnav?

Don’t be silly! An Easter bunny doesn’t need that sort of thing. It’s true that I sometimes hop in zigzags, but that’s only to confuse that cheeky hen. Like all Easter bunnies, I have a nose for it and can find all the children who are waiting for my delivery.

Is Easter the only time for colourful eggs?

Proper Easter eggs are, of course, only available at Easter. By the way, the tradition of dyeing eggs started in the Middle Ages. Have you heard of Lent? In this fasting period before Easter, people weren’t allowed to eat any eggs either. So that the eggs didn’t go bad, they were boiled and dyed red. This way, they could tell the difference between those eggs and the fresh ones once Lent had ended.
Nowadays, lots of people enjoy colourful eggs outside of the Easter season too, so they’re available all year round. But, although they’re colourful, they’re not Easter eggs—that’s important.

If other children have questions they want to ask, can they write to you?

Oh yes! I love getting post, and I always take the time to read it and send a reply! Children can write me a letter, send me a picture, or even e-mail me. After all, I am a modern Easter bunny. I’ll give you my e-mail address. Maybe that way I’ll get some messages really soon—I’m looking forward to them already! So, my young friends, try it now—send your e-mails to:

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