The Story of the Easter Basket

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In March 2016, one week before Easter, I attended my first “Pagan Bunny Burn”, a Burner-like festival in the no-stop-light town of Elk Creek, about half way between Redding and Sacramento, CA. The site and the weather were amazing, the people were warm and welcoming, and it felt like a wonderful and early start to the “festival season”. I told several of my friends in Portland about the event, and made it a priority to return the following year. For a while, it looked like my friend T was going to attend as well, but she ended up having to cancel.

When T decided to resell her ticket to the PBB, she asked me if I would be willing to carry a project of hers to the event. T had made illuminated eggs for a night-time Easter egg hunt. She had purchased small plastic eggs in pastel colors. For the inside of the eggs, T had built a tiny electronic circuit board with multiple LED bulbs and a holder for two small coin batteries. The effect was pretty spectacular. I was to deliver these to a camp at the Bunny Burn that was already doing a daytime egg hunt for kids; this would be a perfect night-time event for kids (of all ages).

When I stopped by T’s house to pick up the eggs, they were already collected in a wicker basket. The basket had been crafted to look like a bunny, with bamboo shafts for ears, whiskers threaded through the wicker weave, and dusty red buttons for eyes. Once the pieces for the egg hunt were delivered, T asked me to leave the basket in the massive bunny effigy that was being burned at the climax of the event.

On Saturday I walked through camp, headed towards the folks who were going to conduct the hunt. While I was en route, a girl from some other camp saw the wicker basket and started squealing.”Oh my god, look at that! It’s perfect! I had that Exact! Same! Basket! when I was a kid!” She was practically vibrating with excitement. Look at the demonic red eyes, it’s so creepy! My mom had it sitting on a shelf in the dining room. I have no idea what happened to it. I can’t believe it, this is totally the same basket!” She was so emotionally wrought, I had to offer, “Would you like the basket?” She gaped in surprise, “What? You mean it? I can’t take that from you!” I persisted, “No, really. A friend gave me the basket and asked me to leave it in the effigy to be burned. If she were here, I’m sure she would want you to have it. If you want it, I mean.” She was still in disbelief, but grinning. “Really? You were going to burn it?! Yeah, if you’re sure, that would be awesome, I’d love that!”

I told her that I needed to deliver the basket’s contents, but that I would be right back with the basket in a few minutes. We swapped names and brief hugs and I left to complete my errand. In a couple of minutes I found the destination camp, showed them the eggs and how to load them with batteries, and then departed with the now-empty basket. I started heading back to give the basket to the girl.

This already felt like the perfect story. In a perfect moment of happenstance, synchronicity, or fate, I happened to be walking past a spot carrying a basket, past a girl who had a powerful emotional reaction to the basket. T was going to love hearing about this! And then it got even better.

I found the girl and held the wicker rabbit basket out to her. Her eyes got big and she said, “There it is!” and then she turned to her friend and said with an enormous smile, “I’m going to fuck with my brother so bad with this basket! I’m going to leave it sitting around my house, he’s going to see it, and he’ll lose his shit!” She mimicked her brother’s voice, “What the fuck! Where did that demon bunny basket come from? Is it stalking us?!” Somehow it was all the more perfect, knowing that this girl wasn’t going to simply gaze adoringly at the basket, but was going to use it to fuck with her sibling’s head. This just became a story worth writing up in detail, so T could bask in every little bit of it.

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