The True Meaning of Easter(n)
(A Holiday Puppet Pageant)
by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2003
Once upon a time... In a faraway land called The Far East. There lived Three Kings. They were known throughout the Far East as the Three Kings of Orient. Which is really just a fancy word for "Far East".
The Three Kings were very wise and thoughtful, as Kings go, because they were always studying and coming up with clever, new inventions - like gunpowder, and karaoke, and egg drop soup. In fact, they were so wise that some people simply called them "The Three Wise Men". Even though really they were two wise men and a rabbit.
Their names - as you probably know - were King Gaspar of Asia, King Balthasar of Atlantis, and King Hoppity Boppity of Fairy Bunnyland.
The three of them were very good friends, and every Friday, they would get together for lunch on an Eastern island, just off the coast of their three countries and talk about their day, and the business of being wise and thoughtful. And then they would play a round of badminton - which one of them had invented.
The Three Kings had another good friend who was also a King, though he lived even farther away than the Far East, if you can imagine.
His name was King Melchior of Mercury. And one Friday afternoon, while the Three Eastern Kings were finishing their lunch and setting up for badminton, King Melchior of Mercury came to visit them in his hovercraft.
He had come all the way from outer space to tell them about an amazing new discovery. It seems that King Melchior had constructed a brand new telescope out of space bamboo and plexiglas and when he had pointed it at the sky and peered into it, he had spotted a miraculous new star shining over the Earth, directly above the town of Bethlehem in the Not-so-Far-East.
Now, this was amazing indeed, because stars were normally millions of billions of miles away and did not generally hover over a single town on a single planet.
King Melchior suspected that the new star might be some sort of sign or portent. And the others agreed. But what kind of sign or portent they could not say.
So they all put on their scuba gear and swam down to King Balthasar's vast undersea library where they spent the rest of the afternoon poring over waterproof hydro-books until they came across an obscure reference to an ancient prophecy that one day just such a star would shine over just such a town and it would portend that a mighty King was being born in that very city on that very day.
Well, this excited the Four Kings more than you could possibly imagine - unless, of course, you are also a wise and thoughtful King who is bored out of your mind from playing badminton with the same three people every single weekend, because they are your only friends.
So they decided right then and there that they should cancel all their appointments and go visit this newborn King and see if he would like to come and be a King with them in the East. Or possibly on the Planet Mercury.
Gaspar and Balthasar started packing to leave right away, but King Hoppity Boppity reminded them that they should bring presents for the new King since it was, after all, his birthday. King Melchior agreed that this was the proper thing to do. So the Four Kings wracked their brains, until each of them came up with a gift that would be suitable for a young King.
King Gaspar - who was a very wealthy King - decided to bring a gift of GOLD, which was extremely expensive, even in those days. And also an excellent conductor for use in electronic devices.
King Melchior was a very resourceful King, and he decided to bring a gift of FRANKINCENSE which is an alloy made from compressed francium, selenium and zinc which can be converted into fuel rods and used to power a warp engine.
King Balthasar - who was a bit of a cheapskate - decided to bring a set of ARGON DRILLING LASERS which were left over from construction on the new wing of his palace. The lasers were capable of generating a focussed beam of light that could slice through anything - even solid granite - even under water!
King Hoppity Boppity - whose idea it was to bring gifts in the first place - thought long and hard and decided to bring 750 milliliters of choco-lysergic acid, which was a powerful hallucinogen used in medical research, and it came in colorful egg-shaped containers, coated with a candy shell.
So it was that the Three Eastern Kings, and the one Space King quickly settled on the gifts they would be taking with them to Bethlehem. But they had a much more difficult time deciding on the best way to get there.
King Gaspar wanted to go by land, because he owned a massive fleet of camels and knew all the local trade routes.
King Balthasar wanted to go by sea, because he was part fish, and owned a special submarine that would get them there much quicker, though in a more round about manner.
King Melchior wanted to go by space, because he already had his hovercraft right there and they could be in Bethlehem in a matter of minutes.
And King Hoppity Boppity wanted to tunnel through the earth to get there, because even though it would take much longer, it was the most direct route.
The four of them argued and argued for hours and hours, but they couldn't seem to come to an agreement, so they decided to travel separately to Bethlehem, and meet up again when they got there. So without any further delay they each set out on their separate journeys, Gaspar traveling by land, Balthasar by sea, Melchior by space, and Hoppity Boppity tunneling directly through the Earth.
Well, the first King to arrive was Melchior of Mercury, who reached Bethlehem a few minutes later on his hovercraft.
A crowd of shepherds, watching over their flocks by night, spotted him floating in the air and took him to be an Angel of the Lord. So, naturally, when he asked them to help him find the newborn King, they immediately dropped everything and went stampeding through the streets, knocking on doors and windows and waking up half the town until they finally stumbled across the baby Jesus laying in a manger because there was no room at the Inn.
Needless to say, the entire incident was horribly embarrassing for King Melchior, so he quickly gave Jesus the gift of Frankincense, along with written instructions on how to construct a crude warp engine and an invitation to come visit him on Mercury any time, and then he went home. Before he left, he tagged the baby with a harmless neural transponder to make it less difficult for the other Kings to find him.
The next to reach Bethlehem were King Balthasar and King Gaspar who both took about three years to make the journey. But no sooner had they arrived than King Balthasar remembered that he had left the argon drilling lasers sitting on his desk at the palace and forgot to bring them.
So the two of them radioed back to King Hoppity Boppity - who was not even halfway there yet - and asked him if he could turn around and go back to Atlantis and fetch the drilling lasers, since he was closest - which, of course, he did.
But after a few days, King Gaspar and King Balthasar realized that it was probably silly to wait around for Hoppity Boppity to tunnel all the way to Atlantis and back, so instead they stopped by a roadside gift shop where King Balthasar picked up some inexpensive MYRRH - a cheap and stinky perfume which would have been useless to a baby the size of Jesus, but it's possible that King Balthasar was trying to hit on his Mom - and King Gaspar dropped off the gold and then they, too, went home.
Of course, the last to arrive was poor King Hoppity Boppity the Eastern Rabbit, who had taken so long tunneling through the Earth's crust, not to mention the extra trip back to Atlantis to retrieve the drilling lasers, that when he finally burrowed his way into Israel, thirty-three years had gone by.
And in the meantime, young Jesus had already grown up, performed several miracles, gained a following, become a leader in the gay community, clashed with conservative factions in the local clergy, been arrested by the Romans for kissing in public, and received a speedy trial, conviction and crucifixion. After which, he was taken down and buried in a tomb on the outskirts of town.
King Hoppity Boppity had no trouble finding Jesus thanks to the tracking device King Melchior had implanted in him as a baby, but he was understandably upset when he came up out of the ground and found himself inside a dank tomb with the rotting corpse of the newborn King lying nearby.
He tried performing CPR, but it was no use because Jesus had already been dead for nearly three days at this point.
King Hoppity Boppity was about to turn around and go back to Fairy Bunnyland when he remembered the candy-coated choco-lysergic acid eggs he had brought with him. He also remembered an article he had read in the Far Eastern Journal of Medicine about the therapeutic side effects of toxic hallucinogens, and it occurred to King Hoppity Boppity that if Jesus were given a large enough dose, he might begin to hallucinate so badly that he would have delusions of being alive.
Hoppity Boppity immediately force-fed the dead Jesus the entire contents of three choco-lysergic eggs, to no effect. But the moment he cracked open a fourth egg, Jesus suddenly sat bolt upright, screaming about lizards and elephants, but otherwise alive and unharmed.
After that, it was only a matter of getting out of the tomb, which was sealed from the outside with a gigantic boulder. By himself, Hoppity Boppity could have dug his way out easily, but he knew that Jesus was probably still too weak from the resuscitation. Also, Jesus was starting to get claustrophobic, and there was no telling what crawling around underground would do to him while he was tripping on choco.
Fortunately, King Hoppity Boppity still had King Balthasar's drilling lasers with him, so he blasted a hole in the wall and the two of them simply walked out.
Jesus giggled deliriously as he thanked King Hoppity Boppity for the rescue, then he staggered off to find his disciples and tell them the good news.
Well, the Eastern Bunny knew that this wasn't the smartest idea, since the Romans would undoubtedly be looking for him once they discovered he had blasted his way out of the tomb and if they caught him they would probably just kill him again. So, for his own safety, Jesus had to leave town immediately. He also had to get to a doctor before the acid wore off because Western medicine might not be able to help him once he came down off the hallucinogens that were keeping him alive.
So while Jesus was in town chatting with his disciples and freaking them out with the story of what had happened, Hoppity Boppity radioed King Melchior on Mercury to send a team of paramedics. Later that day, Melchior arrived in his hovercraft and locked onto Jesus with a tractor beam and levitated him out of there right before the eyes of several startled witnesses.
King Hoppity Boppity tried to prevent a panic by assuring the disciples that everything was okay and that Jesus would be coming back again as soon as the political situation in the Middle East had stabilized. But that just sent them into complete hysterics and they began running all over the countryside telling anyone who would listen that Jesus had been raised from the dead by a giant white rabbit with chocolately eggs and then abducted by aliens who threatened them with deadly lasers if they didn't prepare for the "Second Coming".
Hoppity Boppity tried to talk some sense into them, but it only seemed to make matters worse, so eventually he gave up and went back to Fairy Bunnyland where people know how to handle their acid.
But every year after that, on the anniversary of Jesus's great escape, the Eastern Bunny returns to the Western World bearing colorful gifts of candy eggs and checking to see if it is safe for Jesus to come back home.