Edward Bilby’s New Job

Image: basket of Easter eggs. Text: I'm supposed to deliver poisonous eggs to small humans, for what reason?

Edward Bilby’s New Job

Short story by Iris Carden

Edward Bilby woke to find someone blocking the entrance of his burrow.

“Who the hell are you? And why are you in my home?” He demanded to know.

“I”m Edgar Bunny, the Easter Bunny. Call me E.B . I’m here to offer you a job.  Your burrow is a lot smaller than a rabbit warren. Could you perhaps give me a push so I can get out?”

Edward shoved as hard as he could and Edgar Bunny eventually popped out of the opening of the burrow.  Edward sadly looked at the damage to this front doorway,  and then turned to the fat rabbit.  “So what’s this job?”

“Well,” said E.B., “I’ve been having a problem here in Australia.  I’m seen as a feral pest, and some parents have objected to me being here even just for Easter, so I’d like to sub-contract this district to you, so you could be the Easter Bilby.”

“What does an Easter Bilby do?”

“You’d deliver chocolate eggs to all of the children in Australia.”

“What’s chocolate?”

“It’s poison to most species, so don’t eat it, but humans like it.”

“And children are?”

“The small offspring of humans.  If you were a pet, you’d have known that.”

“A pet?”

“An animal that lives in the home of humans.”

“And I’m supposed to deliver poisonous eggs to small humans, for what reason?”

“Because it’s Easter!”

“What’s Easter?”

“That’s when someone died and came back to life.”

“And eggs?”

“Are a sign of new life.  To celebrate this guy coming back to life.”

“Why can’t he deliver his own eggs?”

“Because he’s the son of God.  Delivering eggs is below his pay grade.  That’s why we do it.  It’s whimsical.”

“So how am I supposed to deliver these poisonous eggs to all of the small humans in Australia?”

“That’s the best part.  You subcontract the job out to their parents.  I subcontract to you. You subcontract to them. They obtain the eggs and deliver them, and say they’re from you.”

“And I actually do what?”

“A few public appearances, a bit of promotional work.  Basically you’re an instant celebrity. And it works on an extra level, because your species was on the verge of extinction and now you’re coming back – so it’s another sign of new life. It’s perfect. And the humans will see you and think  how great it is that they’ve been working to protect you from extinction, and it will make them think about all the other animals that need help as well.  Of course, I’m pretty sure humans had something to do with you being in danger of extinction, but that’s water under the bridge.”

“So was your species on the verge of extinction, too?”

“No I’m a sign of new life for another reason.  Rabbits breed like, well, rabbits.  Take me, I’ve got 20 children and 400 grand children. If each of them has 20 children, I’ll have 8000 great-grandchildren. If you’ve got a boy bunny and a girl bunny, in no time you’ve got tons of baby bunnies. We just go and go and go. We’re so famous for it, the humans use us to advertise something that just goes and goes and goes.”

“That’s, really more than I needed to know. A bilby is a sign of new life. I get it. So why me, specifically?”

“Because you’re a Bilby, and your first name is Edward.  E.B. like me. It just fits.”

“I don’t know, E.B.  It all sounds a bit far-fetched.”

“It is far-fetched.  An animal would never go for it, but this is dealing with humans.  Humans will fall for anything. It’s a con.  Humans are actually doing all your work, and you get all the credit, the fame, the adoration. You pretty much get anything you want.”

“And if I say ‘no’?”

“Well, there’s a bilby named Evan, I can try.”

“I know him.  He’s not very bright.  He’d spill the whole secret straight away.  OK.  I’ll do it. Let’s scam the humans.”

“Welcome aboard, Easter Bilby.”

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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