Bunny Suit

The following was a losing entry in the 6th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.

three men and a bear“What’s with the bunny suit,” my dad asked, and hearing that got my sister and me pretty excited. Easter had come and gone, but how could a bunny suit be anything but amazing? We tumbled into the front hall and dad was holding a white parcel in one hand and hanging up his overcoat with the other. The parcel unfolded itself as he waved it at mom, as if trying to escape, first with an arm shaking itself loose, then a leg.

“It’s for when you fix the ceiling. God only knows what they put in plaster fifty years ago,” mother replied.

Ellen tugged at the sleeve hanging down from my dad’s hand. “Where are the ears, daddy? Do you put them on after?”

“It’s not that kind of bunny suit, sweetie,” dad said, rolling it up under his arm and taking it downstairs.

When dad finally got around to fixing the ceiling it was in regular old shorts and a tee shirt, plastering and sanding for days. He eventually sanded right through to old newspaper, and spent more time that day squinting at old stories from the twenties than sanding. He was covered in yellow dust that got in his hair and his eyes and down his shirt and afterward you could hear him running water in the laundry room, scrubbing himself down with the big yellow bar of soap that mom used for our socks.

We forgot about the bunny suit until after grampa died and the movers brought what was left of his stuff to our place. Mom sent them off with a can of soda and five dollars each and we stood staring at all that was left of the the house she had grown up in. There was an old trunk and a lot of boxes, but the coolest thing was this old bear skin. I think grampa maybe killed it in Algonquin Park back when you still could but mom said he just bought it off some drunk.

Dad dragged it onto the floor of the front room and mom was waving her hand in front of her face and wrinkling her nose saying, “Glenn, put it out back, I’m sure it’s got fleas.”

Dad told her he didn’t think fleas could live on something that had been dead for eighty years but then all of a sudden she started screaming “Get it out of here! Get it out of here!” I never heard a sound like that come out of my mom before and it was pretty creepy. Ellen started crying.

Dad practically jumped on it and took it out back. Mom ran downstairs and came back with the suit. Dad climbed into it without saying anything and zipped it up and tried to fling the bearskin over the clothesline. It took a couple of tries and for a split second he had it by its front paws and it was flying up over him and it looked like it was alive and wanted to eat him.