You read right. This Easter, swap that little white ball of fluff out for the dull, grey, rodent-like marsupial with its sharp, flesh-ripping teeth. Sounds like the stuff nightmares are made of, doesn’t it?
Don’t worry – as an Aussie, I can guarantee it’s not. (I better clarify this for my overseas readers!)
In Australia, bunny rabbits are an introduced species and classed as a major pest. In fact, they cause all sort of problems including competing with native wildlife for food and shelter and destroying native vegetation – just to name just a few.
I’m not sure who came up with the idea to swap the Easter bunny for the native Australian bilby, but I wholeheartedly agree with it. What a perfect way to create awareness for a little endangered species.
Problem is, swapping the giver-of-chocolate-eggs sounds easy, but it’s hard to put into practice. There are bunnies everywhere… children all know it’s the Easter bunny who delivers the eggs. Plus, it’s kinda breaking tradition. I hate breaking tradition!
So, I had an idea… here’s a dialogue between my young daughter and I.
Today was the Day the Easter Bilby Took Over
“Honey, you know how I’ve said that the Easter Bunny brings your eggs…”
“Well, I was wrong. It’s the Easter Bilby.”
“What’s a Bilby?”
Doh! My daughter doesn’t even know what a Bilby is. All the more reason to swap out the Easter Bunny!
“How about we look at some pictures on the internet?”
So we sat down and searched images on the net. She thought Bilbies were adorable! Phewww!
She still didn’t believe me though.
I told her it’s true, bilbies deliver the eggs (replacing a lie with a lie, great mum I am).
So, off we popped to the shop to convince Miss Possum that in fact it is the Bilby who delivers the Easter eggs. We oohed and ahhed over the collection of chocolate bilbies on the shelf. A small collection, but a collection none the less.
Then we found this book in the shops about a group of bilbies delivering Easter eggs. The best part is that the bunnies tell the bilbies what they have to do to deliver eggs which means the bunnies aren’t completely out of a job. It was perfect!
I’d sealed the deal. Miss Possum now believed that a bilby delivered the eggs… or did she?
“Mum, you’re wrong.”
“Oh? What about?”
“It’s not the Bilby that delivers the eggs.”
Oh dear I’ve failed.
“It’s a whole bunch of Bilbies!”
Guess what we are doing Easter afternoon? Hunting for insects to feed a bunch of Bilbies because Bilbies don’t eat carrots!
Here’s some ways we will be celebrating the Easter Bilby (I prepared these earlier)!
Sadly, I have a hard enough time making sure that chocolate eggs even get delivered at our house let alone ensuring they get delivered by a bilby. I do like the idea though, much more Australian!
Totally unrelated, but what caught my eye, Penny, is the artwork on your site, do you do it yourself? I follow Flufflepot and she does artwork using Illustrator, is that what you use? This is something I would love to learn how to do.
Tangent finished, back to Bilbies. I may not make the switch from rodents to marsupials, but I will talk to the boys about bilbies this Easter holidays, I promise!
Talking about the bilby is just as good! You’ve made my day Shelly!
Yes, I do all the artwork on my blog. I use a free online program called Avairy to make my vector art (I think that’s what it’s called). I really should upgrade to illustrator but I find Avairy is so good. It took me a little bit of practise to get it but now it’s so easy. I whipped up the bilby in about 40 mins.
We’ve been advocating for the easter bilby for a few years now in our house. I haven’t bought any easter eggs this year, but when I do, (last year) they are bilby ones and my girls love the fact that they are native animals. Go the Bilby!
I had never thought about it until now ! We’re not big on Easter but I like the idea of making the tradition as Aussie as possible. Wonderful that you found an actual book! Yay!
Julie Murphy says
Great post, Penny. We had a bunny-free Easter this year. Bilbies rule!
What gorgeous photos!
This is a very good idea. I will surely do this next Easter.
Susan Stephenson says
Pen, I just wanted to comment on what you said about the egg-bringing being a lie. I always had trouble with the traditions when my son was small. It felt wrong to lie to him, because truth was important between us. Yet i had loved Santa Claus and the bunny and the tooth fairy when I was a kid and it didn’t seem fair to leave them out of his life.
I think your solution with the bilby was great, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I picked up on what you said about the lie. Being a parent is so darn difficult!
I know, I compeletly agree with you. I hate lying to Miss Possum but as a child I loved the magic that came along with imaginary creatures so I’ve kept them alive. Miss Possum has quite a creative mind as it is. We are always having tv and book characters coming to visit. Many of them sleep in her room or brush their teeth with her. It’s a busy household. 🙂
Bilbys are such sweet, adorable creatures.
I love the easter bilby tradition, it’s good to be original and supportive!