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)!