Who would have thunk it?

Parents have probably been asked many times why the Easter Bunny brings eggs and jelly beans to all kids at Easter time. Well, just in time for the Easter holiday and the arrival of the Easter Bunny, children and adults can read all about that white, furry animal with pink skin, who stands on two feet and adorns itself with pink, lavender and yellow ribbons in the new children’s book, “The Easter Weasel?!? The incredible, absolutely (almost) TRUE STORY of the Easter Bunny!”  In this tall tale, you will find out who the Easter Bunny really is, well almost, from a story created and published by L. Dennis Collins, its author and illustrator, Steve Armstrong.

Collins, a former juvenile probation officer and a prosecutor for 32 years, has been telling the story for over 40 years. “Grandfather actually had the Beet joke happen to him with grandchildren around the table sometime before 1963,” Collins said. “I came up with the term Easter Weasel in 10th Grade, and said there’s no such thing as the Easter Bunny.  Bunnies don’t have anything to do with chicken eggs, but weasels do; they steal and eat them.”

Collins expanded on the story when he was a freshman in college and his room became the hang-out for all the guys.  It was around Easter time and he found a solution to clear the room when he told the story.  “The story came about in the spring of 1970 when I was a freshman in college to get people to leave my room so I could study,” he said.  They all scattered and decided they had enough when the story about the Epiphany Camel was about to be told.

Armstrong, a long-time colleague, an award-winning illustrator, former police officer, an author and defense attorney, first heard the story while interning under Collins, he thought the story was cute and it would make a great children’s book.  “I was married and with kids and I thought it was something kids would enjoy,” said Armstrong.

A few years pass, Armstrong was busy in his law practice and Collins continue to tell his Easter Bunny story during the Easter holiday season. Still dabbling in his first passion, illustrative art, Armstrong convinced Collins to collaborate and published the children’s book based on the story.  With their busy schedules, the collaboration was a two-year project completed in bits of time here and there.  They test marketed it with Armstrong’s two children and their friends as well as Collins grandchildren and the reviews were good. “My kids have been involved with the process,” Armstrong said.  “We did a neighborhood test market and they seem to like it,”  With the joint venture, they both felt if the Pet Rock worked, “Why not.”

“The Easter Weasel?!?   The incredible, absolutely (almost) TRUE STORY of THE EASTER BUNNY!” is the story of how one dedicated weasel turned a public relations gig for bunnies into a lasting tradition.  In “The Easter Weasel,” you will sit down at the dinner table while Granddaddy tells the kids the true story of the Easter Bunny.  The kids have questions and Granddaddy has all the hilarious answers. Why do we get eggs at Easter? Where did jellybeans come from? Why does a bunny deliver the treats to children? These questions and more will be answered in “....The incredible, absolutely (almost) TRUE STORY of the Easter Bunny!”

If you are curious about the rest of the story Collins and Armstrong are holding a book signing on March 27 from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Counts Hallmark Store located in the Chesterfield Meadows Shopping Center at 6427 Centralia Rd. or for an electronic version visit www.easterweasel.com. F or more information call 425-5478.

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