I approached the door to the house through the path from the front gate that was unhinged. It was quite the unnecessarily long sentence to do so but we got there in the end. The yard was overgrown with weeds, yet barren of grass with the earth littered with holes.
I rapped on his door with a consciously friendly beat. It worked. He opened the door with a wobbly smile and we exchanged pleasantries (ie. pleased to meet you; nice tie; I like the holes in your yard; and so on).
As I entered his home the front door mat caught my eye. It's the third time the damn thing had fallen out this week.
I made a note of what was on the mat - 'WELCOME TO OUR WARREN'.
I sat in his lounge room under a dim light, the curtains to the room closed, while his wife brought in some lunch from the kitchen.
"I hope you don't mind carrot soup", she asked.
She spoke in a quiet, shaky voice as the soup spilt over the edges of the bowl.
"You really shouldn't have, you are too kind", I said.
He looked at her lovingly but with sadness behind his dark, round eyes, nodding in appreciation as she retreated back to the kitchen.
"She has never been the same since the ... the incident", he said, "But she's tried to carry on living, as we all have."
It was obvious that he loved her but the strain was clearly evident.
"Ya know, I know we're getting on in age but what I'd give to see that hop in her step just one more time. That energy ... that bounce ... that lust for life ... has been buried deep inside the burrows of her heart for many, many years now".
He drank the soup from the bowl with a hunger like a wild animal. He licked the bowl clean, with soup sticking to his grey whiskers, before finally looking up again.
"I wonder ... if people knew ... what we've been through .. what we went through ...", his nose twitched, continuously, with the spasms of a dying fish out of water (like at the end of that Faith No More music video, Epic. It sure was ...), "...I wonder if they would celebrate each year like they do now."
He looked back down and scratched his long, floppy ear. The past clearly remained a burden for this couple.
"Easter is not a happy time for us. Too many terrible memories."
Though the 'incident' occurred many, many years ago, it is clear that the scars were still raw so I didn't press him and let him take his time. Ya know, 'cos I'm a good investigative journalist.
There's a prolonged silence and, being conscious of the footy being played that afternoon I did a fake cough and moved my hands in a 'move along' motion.
"You probably want to hear about the 'incident' of which I refer."
"We were broke. I was unemployed. The missus was heavily pregnant with triplets. It was making it hard for her to keep down two jobs. So, ya know, I had no option."
As I jotted down his story I noted for the first time that four young children sat in the corner of the room. I presumed they were playing quietly or reading to themselves as they hardly moved nor made a noise.
"I saw the ad in the local paper - The Colony - for paid participants in pharmaceutical trials. We needed the money and the Doctor - Doctor Winka or Wonka, I think - maintained it was completely safe. Of course, with my nerves and twitches and what-not I couldn't possibly do it, so the wife went in her lunch breaks."
It was at this point I did the thing with my hands again.
"It wasn't until the triplets were born that we knew something was wrong. Something very bad had happened, and I KNEW it was from those damned experiments on my wife."
I looked to my right and saw two more younger children sitting next to me on the couch.
"The doctors said nothing. They simply wrapped up the triplets in these colourful, metallic blankets, popped them in a basket and sent us home with them. They didn't cry, like normal babies would. They just sat and stared, wide-eyed, void of movement."
He was momentarily distracted when a fly landed upon his nose. He flipped it and he flopped it and it flew away before he continued.
"A few months later we had more children, and they were the same. Some had dark skin, others had white. There was one kid that was completely round! Like a bloody egg, would you believe!?!"
I did, of course, as I had read something about something at one time. "Research". But I did a shocked look to humour him.
It turned out I put too much expression into the look and it, in turn, shocked him. Nevertheless, he shook this off and resumed his story.
"Again we had more kids the next month and they were more of the same. It's completely ruined our little family of 56!"
"And what's worse is the children at their schools have discovered that they taste delicious so they're constantly under threat of being eaten. The neighbourhood have taken to hiding my babies around their houses every Easter time for their own children to find! The cops are no good, they think it's funny. Some of them join in."
"My poor kids. Half of them have their ears missing.... wait, Ronnie, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?"
Being the thorough investigative reporter that I am, and with an undeniable sweet tooth, I took it upon myself to grab one of his children, peel back his metallic blanket, and taste for myself.
He was delicious!
"Put my son DOWN, Mr Peace! Right now!"
I took another bite before doing as requested.
"I'm going to have to ask you to leave my house right now", Mr E.Bunny shouted as he grabbed me with his paws by the scruff of my neck and escorted me outside.
I grabbed one of his children - a milk chocolate one, filled with beanies - on my way out for the trip home.
Jessica Rabbit, Mr Bunny's wife, saw what I had done and, suffice to say, she wasn't happy. In fact, she was literally hopping mad.
Which is quite a good pun to end this story on.
Happy Easter everyone!