Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Early Bilbies

Littletree has gone away for the holidays to stay with her grandparents in Israel, so she’s over there now celebrating Passover.

We haven’t ever really celebrated Easter before, and she’s well-informed about the Pagan origins of the holiday, and knows that technically, it’s a Spring rite, and therefore should be observed around the full moon after the Vernal Equinox, which isn’t for another six months for us up here in the Southern Hemisphere. We’ve talked at length about Ishtar and Oestre and the significance of rabbits and eggs.

This year, Littletree declared that she doesn’t mind about all of that stuff, she just wants to have the “wake up in the morning and have a surprise easter egg hunt with hidden chocolates”. She explained to me that she knows that the “Easter Bunny” would just be me pretending, but she asked me to do it for her anyway. And to do it early, since she would be away on the “proper” Easter – as she wisely pointed out; it’s irrelevant when we do it, since it’s not really Easter anyway, and the whole holiday is just a made-up thing.

Fair enough.

So off I went to a purveyor of processed egg-shaped chocolate confections to purchase a small hoarde of goodies for Littletree to find. A dozen “egg-sized” chocolate eggs, a small bag of “mini” eggs, and an Easter Bilby.

The Easter Bilby is an important and noteworthy part – here in Australia, rabbits are a massive plague of a pest, and meanwhile, the Bilby is a cute little Australian native animal that sort of vaguely looks like a bunny, and they’re highly endangered since the introduction of European settlers to the country (said settlers were also the foolish imports who brought the rabbits with them). Anyway, Australia tries to cull feral rabbits, and promote saving bilbies, and somehow, eating chocolate bilbies at Easter instead of bunnies is a part of that. Or something. At least it’s educational.


Anyway, Littletree awoke on the morning before she left to find a little trail of chocolate eggs outside her door


She started collecting them up in her shirt


Until she found that the trail led out into the garden to a basket



There were eggs hidden all around the house


and around the garden


Littletree got quite the stash!


She did plan to save the Bilby, but after about an hour she came to me, all distressed, and said, “mama, the worst thing ever happened – I was playing with my Easter Bilby and the wrapping just fell off of it, and then it broke, so I had to eat the broken bits, and then it was uneven, so I had to eat more to make it neat… and now it’s all wrecked.”

2013-03-13 14.43.18

The poor child – she had to eat the whole thing!

She did save all the eggs to take to her cousins in Israel though – apparently they don’t get chocolate there, only matzah.


  1. My first thought about the Easter Bilby was that the bilby is not particularly fertile to be an easter symbol. Then I figured that we're all upside down and it's autumn anyway, so perhaps a message of conservation rather than reckless breeding is appropriate.
    And no matter how much I might disapprove of some festivals or the times they're held, I ALWAYS approve of chocolate. Especially for breakfast.
    My awesome Year 9 history teacher took us to see the grave of the bloke who brought rabbits to Australia. It's near here. You might also be pleased to learn that he died of syphillis. Hah!

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