Most people celebrate Easter by going to church. It just so happens that our church's bi-annual General Conference falls on Easter weekend this year, so the local congregations had their Easter messages yesterday. There were messages about our Savior and his resurrection, and beautiful musical numbers.
Then we went to Primary.
Oh Primary--every Sunday is an adventure because of it. Only this Sunday's delightful story wasn't because of the little kids, but instead because of the lesson that the teacher gave during Sharing Time. (For those who are not members of our church, we have meetings for three hours on Sundays - for me and Paul, the first hour is Sacrament meeting (kind of like Mass or a worship service), the second hour (for us currently) is Primary/Sharing Time (where the kids ages 3-7 have "singing time" where they practice new songs, learn scriptures, and have a big group lesson, and the third hour is Sunday School which is where the kids split into classes by age (Paul and I teach the 6-7 year olds) Also, please understand that nobody in our church is a paid or professional clergyman and I am not in any way disparaging my religion by sharing hilarious anecdotes about the going ons that happen during our Sabbath meetings. The Church is still true even if its members are imperfect.).
So the woman who was giving the Sharing Time lesson today had obviously tried really hard to prepare - she had pictures for the kids to look at and a story to tell them about our current prophet from when he was a little boy. Kids love that kind of stuff. But she started her story by reminding the kids that next week is Easter and then asking them "Who comes on Easter?"
The kids, excited to know the real answer, shrilly shouted "Jesus!" with enthusiasm. The teacher kind of hesitated, then said "Well, ... yes, ...Easter is about Jesus. But who else comes on Easter morning?"
This is where Paul and I exchanged glances and used telepathy to communicate: "Uh-oh, this doesn't look so good."
The kids, slightly less confident now and wondering whether this was a trick question, answered, "The Easter Bunny?!" The teacher smiled widely and confirmed the correctness of the response, and I was definitely sure by then that this was going to be bad. The rest of the lesson went something like this:
"Now I'm going to tell you a story about bunnies. But not the Easter bunny. More like a Christmas story. About Christmas bunnies." (I'm thoroughly confused by this point). "When President Monson (our current prophet) was a little boy like you boys and girls, he had a friend whose family was really poor. Everybody was really poor back then because it was the Great Depression. But it was Christmas Eve and all that his friend's family had to eat for Christmas dinner was hot cereal."
"But President Monson had two pet bunnies." (See where this is going? I was practically sobbing with giggles already.) "He loved his pet bunnies. They were his favorite pets. He had raised them. But he thought that it was really sad to only have hot cereal to eat for Christmas dinner. So he took his pet bunnies over to his friend's house, and gave them his pet bunnies, that he loved and raised, for Christmas dinner. And they ate the pet bunnies."
The story maybe could have been salvaged had she not focused on the fact that these were his PETS. And maybe called them "rabbits" rather than "bunnies". But I have my doubts. Paul compounded the terror by leaning over to the three seven-year-old boys in our class who were old enough not to be as aghast at the story but still believe in mythical gift-giving creatures and wickedly asked, "So they ate the Easter Bunny?"
At the end of the story, after the lesson (which I think was maybe about sharing or sacrificing or something - she kind of lost me along the way) was imparted, the teacher asked "Have any of you (3 to 7 year olds) ever eaten bunny? I haven't, but I imagine it tastes like chicken."
I don't know who was more traumatized, the children or me.