An Easter Story by Deke Cutter
My town had the traditional Easter egg hunt in the park on Easter Monday every year. The kids loved the Easter Bunny who came and cavorted with them. Their parent loved the keepsake pictures of their kids with the bunny. My dad had been the man in the bunny suit since this tradition started. In fact, the costume, a very expensive item, had been made to fit him. Once I was fully grown and the same height and build as dad, I’d asked if I could wear the suit one Halloween. Dad explained that the costume was expensive and nearly impossible to replace so he turned me down.
A week before Easter, this year, I received a call that dad was hospitalized after a heart attack. I rushed to his bedside and was relieved to find out the prognosis was very good. The bad news for dad was that his doctors (and mom) would not let him put on the hot heavy bunny suit this year. Without a second thought, I volunteered to take dad’s place. "Well," dad said, "you and I are about the same size, but I’m concerned about the head piece." Your hat size is a full size bigger than mine and that head is a tight fit going over my head. "Don’t worry dad, we’ll make it work," I said.
I should explain that I have long thick hair that reaches my shoulders. It’s never been an issue, it has just been the way I like it. I was figuring I might have to wet it or slick it down to get the Bunny head on. Unfortunately, it was still too tight. After trying everything we could think of, mom proclaimed, "I’m sorry honey, but you’re going to have to get your hair cut. You cannot let your dad down at the last minute. Before I could protest, mom, the rabbit head, and I were in her sedan. She pulled up outside my dad’s barber. "Tony’s been cutting daddy’ hair for a long time, he will know what to do", mom stated.
Luckily the shop was empty. I showed Tony how tight the head was. He sat me in the chair, caped me up and said, "this is going to be a short haircut, son. I visited your dad yesterday and I know how proud he is of you for stepping up. Are you sure you want to make this sacrifice?" I felt my body shaking as I eked out a yes. Tony combed my hair, turned me away from the mirror, and picked up a pair of scissors. He slowly went around my head at the level of the top of my ears. He carefully laid each piece of 8-10 inches of hair into my lap as he continued from right to left. I felt a little sick, thinking how long it would take to get that length back. Then he was in front of me, lifting my forelock and leaving barely an inch and a half at the top of my forehead. I have to admit, I teared up a bit at this point. Tony was not a heartless guy. He put his hand on my shoulder, and said, "before I go on, let me show you why I’m doing what I am doing." He went to my mother, took the rabbit head and placed it on my head. The thickness of my remaining hair still prevented the head from sliding on.
And so, I was, more-or-less, prepared when the clippers were placed at the bottom of my sideburn and pushed up. I saw another 4 inches of thick brown pelt falling into my lap. Quickly (too quickly) my sides and back were taken to stubble. I have never had a haircut this short. Am I going to end up bald? Tony spent a lot of time on the back and sides, before turning to the top where using the clippers and a comb, I felt him reducing my hair to a very short length. Next, I heard a whirring and suddenly remembered being with dad in the barbers as a child and watching the barber prepare to shave dad’s neck. But, I was shocked to feel the cream all over the sides and back. Tony’s touch was light with the razor. When he wiped off the excess, I got chills as I felt the towel directly against my skin. Finally, Tony rubbed some product into that little bit of hair I had left up front, turned the chair and I was staring at a stranger. I had a crew cut! My head looked huge, a little quiff of hair stood up in front. The hair on the sides was just visible. On top, maybe a half inch remained. My mom had huge smile on her face as she picked up the rabbit head, saying "I never thought I would see the day." Tony took the rabbit’s head and placed over my head. I could not believe it, it slid right on! Mom said "didn’t you ever wonder why daddy keeps his hair so short?"
The Easter egg hunt was a great success. Dad was well enough to come out and watch. When we got home, dad announced that I had done such a great job that he was retiring and turning bunny duties over to me. "And Tony will give you the same 20 percent discount he gives me for your monthly "bunny buzz." Oh boy!